THE WHEN OF WORSHIP
The church that I Pastor begins the Sunday morning service at 10:30.
Like most congregations, we start with songs of worship but what does
scripture teach us about “the when of worship”? Obviously, when
believers gather together, we want to worship our Creator, but
worship is more than song and it happens more than when the band
plays. Four biblical characters help us to understand the “when” of
The loss and grief that Job felt after his family died and after he lost
his wealth was very real. Everyone of us, at one time or another,
experience great pains at the loss of a loved one. Many have felt deep
despair when financial failures take place but Job had it all. He even
became seriously ill. Few have ever faced the extreme combination of
problems Job did and yet chapter one tells us that he worshiped.
(Job 1:20) In the moment of pain, Job worshiped. What? Worshiped
without a band, singers, and song projection? Yes! Job did not wait
until Sunday but worshiped God in the moment. The Bible tells us
that Job was “blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from
evil”. (Job 1:1) He knew that God was worthy of worship at all times.
No matter how hard life may be, God has not changed. (Hebrews 13:8)
Majestic and worthy is the Creator and to worship him at all times is
logical, even when times are rough.
Job was not the only one to experience loss. King David grieved at the
death of his son but, like Job, he worshiped God. (2 Samuel 12:20)
David was known as a great leader, but also as a worshiper. He wrote
many songs that make up the book of Psalms. He knew his God and
no matter how things turned out, he was going to worship. David
fasted and prayed that the child would live but he died. Instead of
becoming angry at God, King David humbled himself and worshiped.
In this instance, God did not answer David the way he wanted, but
that did not keep him from worshiping. We can learn from David that
our trust in and worship of Almighty God should not waver if our
prayers are not answered the way we desire.
Jesus and the Samaritan Woman
Jesus taught the Samaritan woman, you, and I that worship is more
than a prescribed time and place. (John 4:7-26) In fact Jesus did not
give a time for worship but said that there “is coming” a time when
“the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth”. He
made it clear that worship goes far beyond the 25 minutes Sunday
morning. The character of a worshiper is one who focuses on who God
is, and not some formula. The woman left the encounter with Jesus
changed. She now was a worshiper. She went to her town, told people
about the Messiah, and many believed that Jesus was the long awaited
one. (John 4:39-42)
Recently, I too had a heavy burden, but God showed me that he was
not only near (Philippians 4:5) but also that he had not changed.
Instead of waiting until Sunday to worship, I bowed before God and
began to worship him. His wonderful message to me also included the
encouragement to smile. The burden did not leave but my Lord did
not either. What a wonderful comfort to us all that no matter how life
hits us, God is still the lover of our souls.
King David wrote a song that sums up the “when” of worship when he
wrote, “I will extol (highly praise) You, my God, O King, and I will
bless Your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless You, and I
will praise Your name forever and ever. Great is the Lord and highly
to be praised, and His greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall
praise Your works to another, and shall declare Your mighty acts. On
the glorious splendour of Your majesty and on Your wonderful works,
I will meditate and I will tell of your greatness.” (Psalm 145:1-6)
So, what is the “when” of worship? Always!
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