Summary: We learn to worship when we have a vision of who God is, understand who we are in relation to him, and learn to love him.
I once read the story of Fritz Kreisler, the master violinist, who discovered that an Englishman had acquired a rare Stradivarius violin. After a long search for the man, he traveled to his home and offered to buy the instrument. However, the Englishman told Kreisler that the instrument was not for sale and sent him away. But Kreisler was not to be discouraged, and decided to go back one more time and ask the man if he could at least see the magnificent instrument. The Englishman respected Kreisler’s talent enough to allow him to come into his home and hold the violin. Kreisler picked up the rare instrument, and with the Englishman’s permission, placed it carefully under his chin and masterfully drew the bow across the strings. As Kreisler played, the Englishman felt as though he heard wind blowing through the trees, the laughter of little children, birds singing, and angels lifting their voices in a chorus of praise. After 20 minutes, Kreisler saw that the Englishman was weeping. He stopped playing and said, “I’m sorry, if I have upset you, but this is such a beautiful instrument. I only wish I could buy it.” The Englishman said, “It’s not for sale, but it is yours. You may have it! It belongs to you. You are the master. You alone are worthy of it.”
Today as we talk about learning to worship, the story of Fritz Kreisler helps us to understand what worship is all about. God steps up to this world, which we are used to thinking of as our own, and begins to play upon it. We are stunned by what he is able to do. All of life becomes beautiful as he plays his music and brings out the beauty of the world. At last we say, “This world belongs to you! You are the Master! You alone are worthy of it!” And then we place our lives in his hands as well, and ask that he bring out the music in our lives. We want him to bring out the beauty in us which only he can do. We want our lives to vibrate with his life.
This is the essence of worship. The word “worship” comes from the Old English meaning “worthy.” To worship God means to recognize his “worthship.” We worship when we recognize he is worthy of our praise. There are several things we could say about worship, but the first which we will mention today is: We learn to worship by having a vision of who God is. When I say vision, I don’t mean an ecstatic vision in an out-of-body experience. All you need is the understanding of who God is and his unsurpassed greatness. All you have to do is read the Bible and discover there how powerful and majestic our great God is. Read the book of Revelation, as we have done this morning, and hear what those who surround the throne say about him and how they worship him. Catch the swell of emotion as the host of heaven adore the One who sits upon heaven’s throne.
If you want to get in touch with who God is, all you have to do is take a vacation in the mountains, or just walk around in a State Park. Look up into the night sky, or watch an ant at work. As you look around you become amazed at God’s creativity and power. Christians understand that the world did not evolve. The world, and we who are in it, did not just happen by chance. The theory of evolution is wrong because it misses the God who has caused the existence of the world. He spoke the world into existence and is responsible for everything that is. If we fail to understand this, then we cannot truly worship. If God is just an idea, then he does not deserve our worship. If you believe that God is merely the product of human imagination, because we wanted something to believe in, then you are wasting our time here today. But if you understand that the God we serve is the one who not only created the earth, but every star and planet in the farthest reaches of space, then you are ready to worship. There is not one atom in all the cosmos which God did not create — whether that is the cosmos which we already know about, or the vast parts that we have yet to discover.
This is why we worship God, because he is the Creator of our lives. He is literally our Father, for he brought each of us into existence. The philosophy of Secularism says that there is nothing outside of the material realm to give meaning and virtue to life. In essence, we are alone. There is no cause to the world’s existence, and no purpose or point to life. We are merely here as the result of an accident of chance which took billions of years. There is nothing beyond the material universe to give it significance. There is no design and no Designer. There is no plan for the world or the people who are in it.