What is Worship?

Worship by Caroline Jordan

[The women at the tomb] hear a welcome in the greeting and fall to their knees before the resurrected Jesus. Their first response to the risen Christ was to kneel in awed reverence. There was also an element of intimacy in that reverence, for they dared to touch and hold on to His feet: they ‘worshipped Him’ (Matthew 28:9)… The two elements together became worship. Falling to our knees before Jesus – an act of reverence – is not in itself resurrection worship. Touching and holding the feet of Jesus – an act of intimacy – is not in itself resurrection worship. The acts of reverence and intimacy need each other. The reverence needs the infusion of intimacy lest if become a cool and detached aesthetic. The intimacy needs to be suffused in reverence lest it become a gushy emotion. These women knew what they were doing: they were dealing with God in the living presence of Jesus, and so they worshipped.
– Eugene Peterson, Living the Resurrection

To be boring is to bear false witness. – one of Tom Driver’s “ten maxims for ritual” in his book, Liberating Rites: Understanding the Transformative Power of Ritual.

Some people want to see God with their eyes as they see a cow, and to love Him as they love their cow- for the milk and cheese and profit it brings them. This is how it is with people who love God for the sake of outward wealth or inward comfort. They do not rightly love God, when they love Him for their own advantage. Indeed, I tell you the truth, any object you have in your mind, however good, will be a barrier between you and the inmost Truth. -Meister Eckhart

If worship simply becomes about ‘Jesus and me,’
and doesn’t have any real impact on broken humanity,
then I don’t think we are fully joining into the story.
-Michael Gungor

Imagine how awful it would feel to have your child say to you, ‘I don’t really love you or want your love, but I would like my allowance, please.’ Do you love this God who is everything, or do you just love everything He gives you? Do you see and know God as Abba, Father?”- Francis Chan, Crazy Love

The heart of God loves a persevering worshipper, who though overwhelmed by many troubles, is overwhelmed even more by the beauty of God. -Matt Redman

Psalm 29:2 NRSV
Ascribe to the Lord the glory of his name; worship the Lord in holy splendor.

Psalm 95:6 NRSV
O come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!

Psalm 100:2 NRSV
Worship the Lord with gladness; come into his presence with singing.

John 4:23 NRSV
But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him.

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For more information on the scripture translation, art and the use of this devotional in other settings, please refer to the copyright information page.

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