Our goal this week as a part of the series “Why Church?” is to answer the question “why worship?” I don’t suppose many believers would honestly say that worship is not a constituent element of what our Christian lives are to be about, and perhaps the bigger controversy is about what worship genuinely looks like. And there is latitude on that question, but again, it really should not be the divisive item it has too often become. Pick the style you like, and even within that, be gracious when it does not come right up the center of Main Street in terms of your preferences. Look around and be glad that others are blessed, even if you are not deeply moved. But in any event, let’s end the worship wars forever.
So, why worship? Let’s make a list of reasons as we close out this week …
Because God said so — This is my first answer to most questions about why we do what we do as God’s people. We’ll list more reasons, but this one is sufficient. In Psalm 96:7-10 it says…
Ascribe to the Lord, all you families of nations, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering and come into his courts.
Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness; tremble before him, all the earth. Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns.”
But you may balk a bit and say, “But I’m not musical and can’t carry a tune in a bucket, so I just watch others worship.” Well, the category of what constitutes worship is bigger than singing and music, as Paul wrote in Romans 12 …
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
Because of who He is — God is kind of a big deal. Amen? He is the creator and sustainer, not just of our lives but of everything. When we think about that, we first have the same amazement of David who said of such a thought, “What is man that you are mindful of him?” It is amazing that God has a personal interest in each of us, but it is true, and that is worthy of our worship.
Nehemiah 9:6 – You alone are the Lord. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you.
Because of what He has done — God would have been fully just in simply wiping out the human race upon their rebellion against him. Instead, he has made a way for us to know him and have an eternal inheritance through faith in Christ. The cost was great, God’s grace was huge. That is worthy of worship.
Psalm 16:11 — You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
Because, while doing it alone is cool, we can’t do it that way as great as we can do it with others — Majestic scenes of creation often cause us to have a sense of awe and personal worship. A quiet moment in the Scriptures where we ponder God’s greatness or his goodness to us may lead us to express to him our gratitude and praise. But as great as that is, and I do cherish personalized memories of specific experiences of this nature, there is nothing as great as worshipping in the larger setting of the community of faith. There is nothing quite like being caught up in a grand anthem of praise or worship song with hundreds of people participating. Throughout the Psalms we see the writers extoling such times, spoken of as being in “the great assembly.”
Psalm 35:18 – I will give you thanks in the great assembly; among the throngs I will praise you.
Psalm 109:30 – With my mouth I will greatly extol the Lord; in the great throng of worshipers I will praise him.
Because it is our future — As we often say, worship in the one thing we can do on earth that we will do in heaven. This is rehearsal for eternity. This is not a spectator sport; we need to be partipants.
I’ll close with this text from Revelation 5:11-13. If it does not move you, I don’t know how to help you.
Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they were saying:
“Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!”
Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying:
“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!”