Worship Is All Around Us
If you want to see worship watch a football game. From the Friday night high school game, to college game day, to NFL Sunday—our region and nation is filled with praise and worship every single weekend. We make time in our busy schedules to be at practices or drive to games. We arrange our lives so we don’t miss the big game on TV. We spend money on tickets and jerseys and trinkets. On game day we yell, clap, stand on our feet, cheer and give high fives. After the weekend is over we post comments on Facebook and talk about the highlights all week long. We are delighting in something we love. We are worshipping!
The old English word for Worship comes from a combination of words—“worth” (to show value or praise) and “ship” (to ordain or appoint). Perhaps you have heard the old expression that worship means to “demonstrate or show worth.” When we worship we are saying, “This is something that is important to me—something that I love—something that I value.” Worship is the praise (by word and deed) of those people, activities and objects that we deem worthy.
And praise is absolutely everywhere! As C. S. Lewis observed:
“The world rings with praise—lovers praising their mistresses, readers praising their favorite poet, walkers praising the countryside, players praising their favorite game—praise of weather, wines, dishes, actors, motors, horses, colleges, countries, historical personages, children, flowers, mountains, rare stamps, rare beetles, even sometimes politicians…the Psalmists in telling everyone to praise God are doing what all men do when they speak of what they care about.”
- C. S. Lewis, Reflections on the Psalms
The Psalms call us to praise God. To sing (Ps. 9:11, passim), to play skillfully and shout (Ps. 33:3), to dance (Psalm 149:3), to clap (Ps. 47:1, passim), to sacrifice our possessions in thanks (Ps. 50:23, passim) and to DELIGHT in God (Psalm 37:4). This delight in God glorifies God. When we fully enjoy God—or delight in God—we are glorifying (making much of) God. (Enjoying God’s gifts is only one way we glorify God.) As Lewis put it, “Fully to enjoy is to glorify.” (Lewis, Reflections.) If you think about it, when it comes to sports we know how to worship! We sing, play, dance, shout, give and delight in them. In so doing we “glorify” (make much of them) them!
This is not a tirade against sports. I love sports! But I am far more excited about God who deserves my impassioned praise. I am arguing here for the kind of Christians who are passionate worshippers of the God of all glory! I am calling on Christians to be committed, excited, passionate, sacrificial, delighters in God.
“The worthier the object,” Lewis wrote, “the more intense this delight should be.” If we can get so excited about high school football—the Fighting Irish—the Boilermakers—or the Bears—how much more should excitement exude from our souls when we consider the Most Worthy Being in the universe—the one who has created us, and saved us, and has bestowed eternal delight upon us! What does your worship look like? Is there a commitment to come to worship or are you busy doing other things? Is there singing or do you stand there mute? Is there sacrificial giving or do you hold on to your wallet? Is there delight or are you bored?