Summary: We often mistake the means of worship for worship itself!
WORSHIP: The Heart of Authentic Worship
CORE VALUE: Worship is always worship!
While there are a variety of fish, a fish is always a fish. Biologically, a fish is never a tree. A fish is never an insect. It doesn’t matter if it’s caught in a lake in Africa or a bayou in Louisiana! It doesn’t matter if it weighs 1,200 pounds or 1.2 pounds! A fish is always fish. It may be a fish that has been fried and is being served with French fries, but frying it doesn’t make it a potato.
Most people can identify a fish, but what about worship?
It’s 10:30 Sunday morning. In a small white wood frame building a few people gather, drink bad coffee and catch up on the week. They gather in a pew-filled room and lift their out-of-key voices in singing a few old hymns backed by an organ. After listening to a sermon and sharing communion they leave the “worship service” for home.
A few blocks away, in a rehabbed industrial warehouse, a large crowd gathers and drinks “Starbuck lattés,” as the clock on a big screen counts down the seconds to the start of the “worship service.” Before and after the sermon, a worship team – led by a young, energetic, electric guitar-playing worship leader – performs highly produced music from an elevated stage accompanied by full lights and a colorful media presentation. It’s an impressively professional production of the latest worship songs from the most popular worship groups from around the world. They even throw in a new version of an old hymn and a choreographed dance routine. Impressive!
Which group worshiped?
Probably some in both gatherings!
We often mistake the means of worship for worship itself!
So, what is “authentic” worship? What does worship have to do with architecture and electronics and sound? Is worship confined to a musical moment on Sunday morning or Sunday evening?
I want to chat with you about worship this morning and that from an event in the life of Abraham.
NKJ Genesis 22:1 Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, "Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am." 2 Then He said, "Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you."
3 So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. 4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the place afar off. 5 And Abraham said to his young men, "Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you." 6 So Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife, and the two of them went together. 7 But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, "My father!" And he said, "Here I am, my son." Then he said, "Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?" 8 And Abraham said, "My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering." So the two of them went together.