“Wow, Matt, God really brought us into worship…and you were there!” This was a comment that I received last week after the service, and I do believe it is one of the best comments I have heard in regards to worship.
Fyodor Dostoevsky said, “Man, so long as he remains free, has no more constant and agonizing anxiety than find as quickly as possible someone to worship.” I have argued that three of the best worship leaders of the twentieth century are Elvis Presley, the Beatles, and Michael Jackson. The adoration and awe a huge number of people have poured into these icons is a testament to the fact that we are made to worship. The fans of these popular artists sing along, they wear t-shirts, they copy the fashion promoted, they faint, they cry, and they do many other things all in the name of the one they have chosen to worship. When counseling friends, they use lyrics from these artists trying to make sense of horrific situations. When looking for advice, they often run to their favorite artist (musician, visual, or literary) to get some sense of how to make proper choices. Even for them, the worship goes beyond the music. The lens they have chosen to view the world through has been shaped by the ones they worship.
Is that true for me? When I hear music, does it naturally draw me to the character of God or God’s relationship to man? What about when I look at paintings? When I read books? When I cook and share a meal? When I get dressed for the day? When I watch movies? When I do dishes (like Brother Lawrence)? How does my worship of the Most High God pervade everything I do? I can say that I am growing. And as this lens gets more refined, I find beauty in things that I didn’t know existed. I am repulsed by destructive behaviors and attitudes that have become habits because of idolatry. And as we worship the Triune God, the mystery of his holiness becomes, as C.S. Lewis puts it, “brighter and blurrier,” and we begin to see the glory of God all around us.
I cannot make you worship, and I am terrified at the prospect that at times I may even distract you from the one you are to be worshipping. With every lyric sung, with every dish washed, with every word said, it is my prayer that Jesus will draw you into worship and that everything you experience can be followed up with “Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee, ‘How great thou art!’ ”
“Wow, God really brought us into worship…and you were there!”