We are worshippers. What do you think of when you read that? What do you think of when you think of people worshipping? Is it singing in the congregation, or a crowd of people bowing toward Mecca, or Buddhists meditating or laying out candles on the river?
We tend to think of worship as those formal rituals or dedicated times and activities which are different than the normal activities of our lives. But, the Scripture speaks of worship differently than that. We do not simply do worship, we are worshippers. And God is not more interested in the acts between 10:30 and noon on Sunday morning than He is in the position of our hearts and desires and delights during the rest of the week, because those are more revelatory of what we are truly worshipping.
What is worship? Worship comes from the old English word "worthship." It is a word about value, about treasuring, about worth. We worship what we treasure the most, what we desire the most, what we delight in the most. Therefore, it is not merely a ritual, nor even a behavior. It is affectional. It consists, at its root, of our affection.
Worship is the highest form of love. That is why everything that we do is an act of worship. It is what we live for and why we do what we do, say what we say, and choose what we choose at any moment and in any place. As worshippers, we always do this, whether we call it “worship” or not. We are always choosing what we want the most, depending upon what we believe in the most, and pursuing what we value the most. Those are all acts of worship.
So, the question is never, “Are you a worshipper?”, but rather, “What are you worshipping?” The only difference between a religious person and an irreligious person is what or whom they worship, the object of their desire, their trust, their hope, their values.
Jesus told the woman at the well in Samaria, “The Father is seeking those who worship Him in spirit and in truth.” There is no “proper place” for worship. The only propriety is the proper heart and the proper object: the one true God, i.e. ‘in truth’.
And our worship always begins with the revelation of God. We have to know Him, to know something of Him, in order to see His beauty, His glory, to value Him rightly, and so we must hear what He says about Himself. This is why our daily reading of His Word is necessary. It is here where God reveals Himself most clearly and fully, in the face of His Son through His Word. So, our Bible reading is not merely duty, an act of “religiosity” to get our day started off right, but it is looking at the Lord so that we might know the one for whom and to whom we live today, whom we worship. We seek beauty, the most beautiful, in His Word.
Worship, then, is a response to this revelation of Him. We respond in worship to the revelation of who God is and what God has done. How are we to respond?
“He is worthy.” He has the quality of being worthy of our words, our works, our delight, our joy, our hope, our honor, our love. Since worship is the highest form of worship, then we will live for what we love the most, and if we are to worship in spirit and in truth, then our greatest love should be reserved for the object most worthy of that love. And the only one worthy of the highest love of all creation is the Creator. The only one worthy of the highest love of a sinner forgiven and redeemed is the one whom showed him mercy and redeemed him at His own cost. The only one worthy of our lives is the One who gave His life for us, out of sheer grace and kindness.
So, let us worship the Lord today, in all that we do. We work at our jobs for His sake, because He is worthy of our work. We speak to others today for His sake, because He is worthy of our praise and of our obedience, worthy to be trusted. Remember that our worship is everything that we do throughout the week, and when we gather on Sunday we simply do so together, but not as something new or original, but as a continuance of what we have been doing all week.