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 worship.
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! We appreciate your Comments