Reformed Reflections

From the Pastor's Desk 1980-1989

What is worship?

Each Sunday we go up to the house of the Lord-the place where God meets His people for worship. How do we go to church, with a sense of expectation? The writer of Psalm 84 even confessed a deep longing for the worship of God. He wrote; "How amiable are Thy tabernacles, o Lord of hosts! My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God", But are our expectations always realized? I don't believe it is possible to receive the same blessing Sunday after Sunday. The sermons may disappoint. Preaching is important, but it is not the sole reason for attending church. Worship is more than hearing a sermon. We receive from the Lord, through the organ music, our singing, the reading of Scriptures, our congregational prayer, offering of gifts, the celebration of the sacraments.

What is worship? If we had been living in England during the early days of the formation of the English language, between the period of Geoffrey Chauces (1340-1400) and William Shakespeare (1564-1616), we would have a different word for worship. We would have said "worth-ship", and we would have meant that in worship we were assigning to God His true worth. So we give God His worth, which is the same thing as "praising" God or "glorifying" His name.

We worship together. And our whole attitude should reflect what we believe about worshipping our covenant and Holy God, Whom we know through Christ Jesus. Quietly and reverently God's people "worship Him in spirit and in truth" (John 4-24).