What is worship?

Well, I said I’d read Grudem’s chapter on worship.  Here’s the definition it kicks off with:

Worship is the activity of glorifying God in his presence with our voices and hearts.

When the Israelites were slaves in Egypt, God sent this message to Pharaoh:  “Let my people go, so that they may worship me in the desert”.  In the end, God’s people were released from slavery in Egypt to go and worship Him.  In much the same way, we are called out of being slaves to sin, but we are called to worship.  This, in turn, is a reflection of when we are finished with this life, and can live in God’s presence, worshipping Him forever.  Our greatest freedom is the freedom to worship God.  Worship is what He deserves.

I really love this song by Bob Kilpatrick.  The lyrics are pretty straightforward.  They’re just simply:

“In my life Lord, be glorified, be glorified; in my life Lord, be glorified today
In your church Lord, be glorified, be glorified; in your church Lord, be glorified today”

At church, we used to sing this, and add other verses like, ‘In my school’ and ‘In my home’.  It’s a great reminder that the heart of worship is a desire to see God being glorified in what we do.  Yes, part of that is through our singing, but it’s also just through the way we live our lives.

Here it is.  I’m sort of sorry that I’ve got a cold, and the guitar playing isn’t too smooth, but I’m not that bothered, because I wasn’t actually singing it for you…

Oh yeah, sorry I didn’t shave…

How would you sum up what worship is?

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3 Responses to What is worship?

  1. Sipech says:

    Worship is the natural reaction that ensues from an excited heart. The definitions you give above seem a little too christian-oriented. I’m quite interested in what we might think of as traditional expressions of worship with things like singing at a football crowd or the behaviour of the masses at the boxing day sales.

    There is both an individual and communal idea of worship which is common to all three.

    • nickparish says:

      Thanks for your comment and for your definition, which I’m continuing to ponder. I guess in this post I am thinking solely of Christian worship, though considering other types of worship can help us to have a fuller understanding and perhaps appreciation of Christian worship.
      I wonder what the ‘gain’ of other collective worship is, and think perhaps it’s a sense of common humanity and togetherness. Whilst this can at times lead to a vicious tribe mentality, it can also have some positive effects.
      For Christians, I suppose, there is that same benefit of togetherness, of family. But linked to this is the belief that in our worship, God draws near to us (James 4:8) and ministers to us. This perhaps sets worship of God apart (setting aside, for a moment, the question of whether or not He exists – I’m working here on the assumption that He does!) from other forms (or objects, perhaps) of worship. While football has little to offer in return, and shopping in the sales is fun but the pleasure is purely internal, as Christians we are told that in our worship, there are benefits which come to us from God, from the object of our worship.

  2. Pingback: #standorfall #worship update | longingtobeholy

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