Sunday, July 13, 2014

Worship as it should be

You may have heard it said that all mankind and things will eventually fall down and worship God - even rocks will cry out if mankind does not.  God is deserving of worship - he created mankind for this very act of communion. No king will be exalted above him; no creature is stronger or mightier than he is. All will bow in worship before him for all of eternity.  Now, where do you and I fit in this picture?  As we consider this today, let's really begin to be honest about what it is we "bow before" and "worship" in our lives.  I think we could be a little more than surprised about what we discover!

Foes will fall on their knees before God, his enemies lick the dust.  Kings remote and legendary will pay homage, kings rich and resplendent will turn over their wealth.  All kings will fall down and worship, and godless nations sign up to serve him, because he rescues the poor at the first sign of need, the destitute who have run out of luck.  He opens a place in his heart for the down-and-out, he restores the wretched of the earth.  He frees them from tyranny and torture—when they bleed, he bleeds; when they die, he dies. (Psalm 72:9-14 MSG)

Worship - adoring reverence or regard.  Exaltation - to praise, extol, or glorify. These are actions best suited to humankind, are they not?  These are not actions we would expect to see or hear of the other created objects around us, are they?  Yet, when I hear the gentle blowing of the breeze through the pine trees in my front yard and listen to the melodic notes of the finches, sparrows, cactus wrens, and humming birds, I cannot help but remember that the Creator of all things made all things to bring him glory and honor! Could it be the rhythmic rubbing of that crickets back legs bring a melody sweet to the ears of God?  Or the tap, tap, tap of the woodpecker beat out the rhythm of worship offered by angels all around?

Worship is indeed all around us - but I think if matters most when it comes from within each of us!  We were uniquely created for something the pines, birds, and insects were not - communion with the one true God.  We alone were given the third part of our make-up (the spirit) in order to give us the capacity to bring this worship to him.  Why do we worship?  Isn't it primarily because we see or hear things which move upon our emotional make-up and bring us into a place where we exalt the name of Jesus?  Perhaps this is one of the reasons God created us as individuals who could "feel" - so that our worship would not be cold and stiff.

Looking again at our passage, we see several things I don't think we should gloss over.  First, even God's foes will ultimately find a place of humble adoration of the one who holds all things in his hands.  They may not realize it now, but they will eventually bow a knee to the one who controls the universe!  Second, no other "kingship" or "rule" is as stately as his.  Even kings and queens will bow down - paying him homage near and far.  No amount of riches will exalt a man or woman above God - those things are merely "fancy dressings" man can create to give him a sense of honor.  All these pale in comparison to the magnificence of the fine white linen he offers those who will be "dressed" with his presence.

Last, but certainly not least, he is never far from those who place him in a place of honor in their lives.  This is not the motivating factor in worship, but is the outcome of communion.  He rescues those who have a heart beating for him and him alone.  He pours resources into their lives beyond their capacity or capability of obtaining.  His heart is open to their hurt and pain.  His mission on their behalf - restoration.  From Genesis to Revelation, the message is the same:  God desires communion with his creation - then he moves heaven and earth to restore their lives - undoing the damage sin has left.  No other thing or person can do what God can do - no other is deserving of the worship he is due.  Not because of what he "does" in our lives, but because of who he "is" in our lives.  He is the source of life, the very breath we breathe.  He "is" our all-in-all and the one who holds eternity in his hand. For that alone, he is deserving of all worship and honor.  For that alone, he calls his kids to be in his presence and to enjoy the life he has prepared for them.

We can worship all kinds of things - in all kinds of ways.  There is but one form of worship which is true - that which is fixed on him!  Just sayin!