Sunday, January 28, 2024

Worship _________

By Adam Faughn
    How do you describe what we do when we gather on Sundays? I suppose that most of the time, we just say that we are "going to worship" or that those are our "worship times."
    But if you had to put a word after the word "worship" to describe what we do, what word would you choose? Probably, the main way we would fill in that blank would be to use the word "service." We might even announce that it is time for us to begin our worship service. Certainly, there is nothing wrong with that. It is an accurate term for what we are doing, as worship is meant to be in service to our heavenly Father.
    But I want to suggest another word that means a lot to me, and that might further help us focus on what we are doing.
    For about seven years, I worked with Andy Kizer in Haleyville, Alabama. He meant a lot to me as a very young man trying to learn the ins-and-outs of local ministry. Outside of my own family, he is likely the man whom I would consider my "mentor" in the ministry.
   One thing that he used to say then--and still does--is in describing worship. It is not that he never said "worship service." He would from time-to-time. But it was not his main way of describing these periods of time. Instead, the vast majority of the time, he would refer to them as "worship privileges." If you think about it, that is actually quite profound.
    To be allowed to worship the almighty God of the universe and to know how to do so in a way that pleases and honors Him truly is a privilege. We should not be allowed in His presence, but He seeks such (cf. John 4:23-24). We would never know how to approach Him in a pleasing way, but He has clearly told us how to do so and that He delights when we do. What a privilege!
    For various reasons, though, we sometimes struggle or even fail to see worship for the privilege it is. We treat it as common. We decide other things are more important. We want to change how it is done. We are present physically but a million miles away mentally. We would rather stare at Facebook than sing to the Father. We find mundane things of this world more interesting than the glory of worshiping God.
    When we act in these types of ways, it is obvious that we are not seeing worship for the true privilege it is. But, oh, how we should! To come before God should humble us deeply.
To know we can please Him as we do should cause us great joy. And to be allowed to do so each week should cause us to realize what an amazing privilege worship truly is.
    It is a worship service. There is no doubt about that. But may we never forget that it is also a worship privilege and reverently treat these times as such.

- Adam Faughn preaches for the Central Church of Christ in Paducah KY. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: Visit the Faughn Family blog, A Legacy of Faith

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