Author: Pete Monast
Corporate worship is essential to the Church of Jesus Christ.
Being a worship leader, it’s easy for me to share my personal (and admittedly, somewhat biased) opinion regarding the importance of corporate worship. I could attempt to persuade anyone reading that it’s one of the most vital disciplines we can practice as Christ followers. However, I believe Scripture has a much better definition of what it means to worship and what it ought to look like as Christians.
Worshipping God is not simply something that I think is important. Scripture instructs us that we are to “ascribe to the Lord the Glory due His name”, that we are to “worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness” (Ps. 29:2). There are many ways to worship Him, but I want to encourage you in how we worship through songs and meeting together in Sunday morning gatherings.
Our God is worthy of the utmost praise.
In fact, His Creation cannot even refrain from worshipping the Name of the Lord. Isaiah 55:12 reads, “the mountains and hills will burst into song before [the Lord], and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.” Psalm 19:1 says that “[t]he heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” Even the rocks would cry out in worship if the people of God were silent (Luke 19:35-40). Even more than earthly creation, it’s told to us in the book of Revelation that the elders and angels surrounding the throne of God in Heaven worship constantly. Never resting, never ceasing, they are worshipping. “Day and night, they never stop saying: ‘Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come’” (Rev. 4:8).
When we stop and actually look upon the God who created us, we cannot help but worship.
In Exodus 34, the Lord God speaks of His compassion, His grace, and His love and Moses is drawn to bow his head to the earth and to worship Yahweh in all of His splendor. We are drawn to worship God when we learn more of who He is. The more we know about Him, the more we are able to truly worship our Father.
I believe it stands to be said as well, that when we worship God, it requires a physical response. When we truly know God and find ourselves in times of worship, we cannot physically contain the joy of worshipping our Creator.
I had the opportunity to go see the Ohio State football team play this past season. Let me tell you, when the Buckeyes scored, I leapt out of my seat and shouted for joy. I was giving high-fives to my friends and even strangers around me! I was physically responding out of excitement and joy that my team had scored, and it even led me to connect and share my joy with people around me that I didn’t even know! See, just as Moses bowed and bent his face to the ground before the Lord, just as King David who worshiped before the Lord and “danced with all of his might” (2 Sam. 6:14-16), we too are able to throw off any hindrance and worship, and that may look like a physical response.
So I plead with you who are reading this:
When we have “tasted and seen that the Lord is good” (Ps. 34:8), how can we contain our worship?
The Presence of God turns our mourning into dancing, He clothes us with joy that our hearts may sing His praise and not be silent (Ps. 30:11-12). It does not matter if you can’t carry a tune in a bucket and it holds little weight in the kingdom of God if you can or cannot play an instrument to worship Him. The value is in the heart of our worship to God. Mark 12:41-44 shares a beautiful story about a poor woman, giving her tithe to the Lord. While those who were rich gave their lump sums to the temple treasury, this widow gave two small, copper coins worth very little in monetary value. But it was this woman who Jesus admired. He calls to his disciples, saying “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything” (Mark 12:44).
I close with this thought:
When we worship, let us give everything we have to God.
We give everything to Him, why? Because He is worthy. He’s worthy of all our praise, He’s worthy of all our “copper coins”. No matter what we have to give, He’s worthy to receive it all. We can dance, we can shout for joy, we can declare the goodness and faithfulness and holiness of our God because no one but He is worthy of it all! We ascribe to Him the glory that is due to Him.
St. Augustine of Hippo once said “A Christian should be an ‘Alleluia’ from head to foot”. Let us worship Him with all we have, as He truly gave all He had so that we may know Him.