What is Worship and Why Does it Matter?
Worship is the human response to what we most value. We are constantly living our lives according to the things we value most-whatever they may be.
True worship is a response to the infinitely glorious reality of the living God. The reality of God demands our attention and commands a response.
True worship is a response from those who belong to God, those who have been rescued and redeemed by Him. It is a time for Christians to come together, to be a body, a family, and give expression to the fact that we are a holy nation, a kingdom of priests. We gather together in the presence of the world to exalt the name of our saving God and to show the excellencies of He who has called us out of darkness and into his marvelous light.
Worship matters because it is about ultimate things. It addresses the most essential aspect of your existence and is the single greatest determiner of your eternal joy or eternal woe.
What is the Worship in which God Delights?
We come to worship as weak and needy sinners in need of the Spirit's help. We come with desperate dependance.
There should also be an eager expectation when we enter worship- that God Himself will meet with us and lead us in true worship by his Holy Spirit. We should be looking for evidences of the Spirit's presence:
- When people in worship are convicted of sin and moved to true confession and faith in Christ's atoning sacrifice - that is the Spirit at work.
- When people sing with faith and hope of their riches in Christ - that is the Spirit's work.
- When people hear God speaking to them through his Word, when they hear Jesus' voice in his sacraments - that is the Spirit's work.
- When people are comforted in their grief, when they receive hope in the midst of a trial, when they find peace in a time of pain - that is the Spirit's work!
Worship in which God delights is worship which glories in Jesus Christ. Jesus is the only hope for desperately poor, lost sinners like us. To glory in Jesus is to glory in Him as the only sufficient and all sufficient Savior of sinners. That is why worship that is by the Spirit will be worship that highlights the gospel. It will be worship that glories in Jesus, that acknowledges our own unworthiness and weakness - all while casting ourselves gladly at the feet of the cross.