I still remember being in the church one day when I was three years old. I'm not sure why I was there but I remember being alone in the sanctuary for some purpose and walking out the back door. On the wall was a picture of Jesus praying. I paused for just a second. Or maybe it was longer. And my three year old brain processed that this man was something special. This man was God. And this place was holy. I'm not sure why that memory is so strong for me but it shapes my thoughts about God and has given me encouragement to worship in a wide variety of places.
We often think of worship as going somewhere to pray, sing, and learn about God. And while those are some of the basics, worship is so much more.
Henri Nouwen states that:
Perhaps nothing helps us make the movement from our little selves to a larger world than remembering God in gratitude. Such a perspective puts God in view in all of life, not just in the moments we set aside for worship or spiritual disciplines. Not just in the moments when life seems easy.
Worship is exercise for the soul. It works both individually and communally.
Individually we can connect with our Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer so that we can praise Him and thank Him for all the blessings in our lives. In our world today we are often bombarded with negative news that we often forget that good things are happening all around us. God invites us into those little miracles in big ways when we worship Him.
But we also worship God with others as well. We are not alone. By being together with other believers, we can see the intersections of the Holy Spirit and see the direction that God is moving us toward in order to transform the world.
Worship is essential to our mission. You wouldn't run a marathon without training first. Worship prepares us, challenges us, and encourages us to be the disciples we are called to be.