February 23, 2017 Jonathan Evans

Worship is the great equalizer

Splash
Worship is the great equalizer. First, in that everyone is a worshipper. “(H)ere’s something else that’s weird but true: in the day-to day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship.” (David Foster Wallace) 
 
But, second, and in particular, every Christian regardless of their occupation, title, or position is called to worship Jesus Christ. However, narrowing it down even further, this life of worship consists of/in acts of worship, not only individual private acts, but corporate public acts, specifically in the congregation of the saints, in the gathering and meeting together of believers (Psalm 22:22; 149:1; Ephesians 5:19; Hebrews 10:25). 
 
These acts of worship are acts of humility. Whether in singing with your voice, clapping with your hands, raising your hands, or bending your knees, you do something that causes you to feel “lowly,” awkward, self-aware and uncomfortable. It is an “embarrassing” act—you are vulnerable, you are stripped of whatever dignity you perceive you have, you sound and look silly to yourself and to those around you who don’t (or do!) understand. These acts of worship are actions we don’t normally or naturally do. They are not only (at first) “out of our comfort zone,” but they are also “out of place” in our daily living, in that we don’t necessarily do these things at the grocery store or at the mall or at the dinner table. They have a particular (and to many a peculiar) context: usually a Sunday morning service, during a portion of that time set aside for worshipping in this way. 
 
However, worship, whether in the first or second sense above, has both a spiritual effect through a bodily act and a bodily effect through a spiritual act. With time and “practice” this act takes in the whole man, and it becomes an act the whole man performs.
 
At one point in my life, I was one who most professed with words “in the congregation” to be spiritual, yet I was one who worshipped least “in the congregation” with my actions. I am not alone, I think. It seems that those of us who most profess with words to be spiritual, can tend to be those who worship least with our actions.  
 
But if the heart is not in worship, worship is not in the heart. A heart that is caught up in childlike wonder and freedom and self-forgetfulness will inevitably point to, tell of, invite, and attract others to the wonder they see and to the freedom they enjoy. It is not simply a matter of the intent of the heart in or to worship. It is also a matter of the sight and delight, or experience, of Christ in the heart that stirs worship.
 
No man can ever say, “I don’t want to worship”. Everyone worships. And truer still no Christian can ever say that, for they would be saying that God has neither done anything nor is anything deserving of their worship. But worship that is in “spirit and truth” (John 4:23) is a worship that is born from and grows by the Spirit of Jesus, the Holy Spirit, Who is the presence of Jesus in “the congregation,” as evidenced or manifested by that congregation’s praise and worship to God (Hebrews 2:12). 
 
Worship is nothing if it is not the freed and freeing act and response of joy, thanksgiving, and love to a Glorious God and Wonderful Savior. Where the worshippers meet the One Of Worth, praise and worship are bound to rise. 
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