Do you remember when you first learned about worship?
What did it look like?
I remember when I learned about worship. My small self, sitting in the same church I do now, watched people much older than me, with much more experience than me sing about this God who I knew some about, but not much about on a personal level. They cried to Him, praised Him, and sang to Him about all the wonderful things He had done. Sunday after Sunday, I watched the same thing. As I got older, I remember worship leaders saying “Come on let’s worship!” and the church erupting in claps, shouts, and songs. Because this is what always happened, I started to associate worship with an outward expression.
When I got older and started to participate in my own worship. I learned that tears were involved, hands lifted were involved. I became moved by the music played during praise and worship and the sermonic selection and started to understand what my worship looked like. I always sang so singing was my worship. I felt like reaching God, so lifting my hands was my worship. I danced my whole life so dancing was my worship. But it always was the same outward and physical expression.
Now, if you’re like me (and you should be), you are stuck at home in a quarantine due to COVID-19. Yes, the good ole Coronavirus has us trapped in the house. To be honest, this has thrown us all about quite a bit. At first it was “oh we’re home…” but when church could no longer be held in the 4 walls of a building, I knew we were on a totally different level. And if we’re being real, it’s weird. It feels weird standing in my room alone trying to usher myself into the same spirit that I experienced on a Sunday morning. It’s hard to turn my room, my house, into an altar when I don’t know how. I sing, but it’s not the same. I say “amen!” when my pastor preaches over YouTubeLive but it’s not the same. I often ask myself, how do I worship God when everything I learned about worship is no longer available to me?
I am learning that my worship was immature.
The season we’re in is challenging the way we worship. Not only because we have to figure out how to find good in the season of COVID-19 when there is sickness and death all around us. But also because we have to figure out how to worship God when there are no external things helping us. It’s easy to worship when you like the song. It’s easy to worship when you like the singer. It’s easy to worship when it’s a Sunday morning.
I say all of this to say, I believe that God is calling us deeper in this season. He wants our worship to go past a Sunday morning. He wants worship to be our lifestyle. I always thought worship could only be done when I was with a group of people. When music was playing. When my hands were lifted. When I lifted my voice and thanked him. And yes, worship can and sometimes does involve all of those things. But it also involves so much more.
We worship God when we pay our tithes.
We worship God when we wash the dishes for our spouse.
We worship God when we help our pastor.
We worship God when we take care of our parents.
We worship God when we call an old friend.
We worship God when we give our time to the poor.
We worship God when we open the door for the next person coming into the building
We worship God when we are kind to that coworker that works nerves you didn’t even know you had.
We worship God when we make the decision to turn off the TV to go to His Word.
We worship God when we do anything that makes us more like Him.
Worship is a daily decision to honor God in every part of your life. Worship is a decision to let His spirit come and live in you.
So, I pray that when we come out of this season of COVID-19, we come out safe, healthy, with hands lifted. And I pray we come out with a deeper understanding of who God is and a lifestyle that has been changed to worship.