I am just getting over the flu. I usually don’t get the flu. I had a really bad strain of “Asian” flu back around 1959 or 60, and normally I’m spared the regular winter round of illness. I wasn’t this year. I got sick on a Monday while I was at work, went home and stayed there for 10 days. I am just now starting to feel better.
What does this have to do with worship you may ask? Just this, we are called to worship in all that we do. Not just when we feel good. Not just when we need something from God. Not because we are the worship leader at the 2nd United Methodist church down the street and that’s what folks expect us to do on Sunday morning. We are called to worship God because of our love for Him.
Compare your relationship with God to your relationship with your spouse, (or your significant other, if you must). Is there a difference in the way you relate to her when you want attention or a favor, and the way you relate to her when you catch a glimpse of her across the room and, just for a moment she looks like the girl who was walking to the altar to marry you. As humans we are encumbered by stuff like duty, selfishness, honor, lust, fear, joy, grief, illness and all sorts of other emotions. God knows this. He made us and He knows us. He made us to have relationship with Him, to walk with Him “in the cool of the morning” and to just hang out together. When we worship we need to approach it with this in mind: Are we worshiping out of our sense of duty? Are we worshiping God with our mouth but thinking about where we are going to go for lunch after church? I am tempted to say, “Oh well God understands”, and up to a point I’m sure He does. Just like my wife would understand if I was talking to her about something and a cute young woman caught my eye. She knows I’m a man, not perfect, and subject to all the weaknesses that men have. And she would most likely forgive me, but her feelings would be hurt.
Just like in our human relationships, God wants our full attention, not given out of duty, but given out of love. I think He wants us to focus on Him, just like my wife wants me to focus on her. And He wants our attention all the time. Not just when we want something, not just when we are afraid, and not just when we are happy, but all the time, even when we have the flu.
This takes me back to where I was last month. Let’s acknowledge God’s presence in our lives. Not just say, “I’ve got Jesus in my heart, and I’m gonna keep Him there”, but recognize and respond to His actual presence. His presence that is right here with us, spending time with us. For me that means remembering that he is right here beside me, even when I have the flu. This is when our worship can take on an added dimension. Along with our public worship in church, we add the private worship that can happen when we spend time with someone we love. The shared glance, the shared joke, just the shared experience of being together, that is the worship that I think God really wants. And I think that’s how we can worship Him in all we do.
Till next time,