…the glory of God is reason for worship
When people don’t come to Sunday worship on a regular basis there are usually several excuses given. One excuse given is, “the minister is boring” so we listen to someone online. Another excuse that is occasionally given is, “Don’t worry, all of life is worship.”
As much as I appreciate the availability of excellent ‘sermon’ resources available online, both audio and video, it should not replace gathering together for worship. I also appreciate the sentiment that all of life is worship, or at least should be done with the glory of God in mind, but it should not prevent us from gathering together for formal worship.
When God created all things, He set one day aside in seven so that we could rest and in thankfulness worship Him for His glory. That has been the pattern since the beginning of Creation. In fact, worship is the chief reason for our existence. Worship wasn’t designed to be laborious, difficult, inconvenient, an imposition, and it certainly wasn’t designed to be boring. In fact, it was designed to be the highlight of the week.
Of course, when sin entered through mankind’s wilful disobedience, everything changed, but the need to worship didn’t. When Moses was commissioned to lead God’s people out of Egypt, he was told, “Go to Pharaoh and command the king to free the Israelites so that they could sacrifice to God—so that they could worship Him” (Exo. 3:18). When God gave His people the law, He commanded that they remember the sabbath day and to keep it holy (In other words, remember to worship.) In Deut 5:12-15, God’s people were instructed and encouraged to worship and remember God’s acts of salvation. And even today, God’s intent in saving His people through Christ is to create a community of worshipers who praise Him in spirit and in truth (John 4:23).
This emphasis on ‘worship’ throughout Scripture doesn’t mean that other things we do as Christians doesn’t matter. Christian fellowship with each other does matter. Youth and children programs matter. The music we play and the hymns we sing matter. Our mission work matters. However, none of these things should replace the worship of our Saviour God to his glory. In fact, one day, many of the above things will cease, but worship to the glory of our God will never cease.
Since worship is the chief reason for our existence, we do well to make sure we are not committing idolatry by worshiping created things, whatever form they may take, rather than the Creator who made us in His image and saved us in Christ. Perhaps that is why the first letter of John, which is so much about God’s love to us in Christ, ends with the timely warning, “Little children, keep yourselves from idols.” JZ