Let's get Worshipping
Not a phrase that just rolls off the tongue.. where do people even say “worship”? And, anyway, who invites you to join in with the worship they are doing!? Is it because we don’t know where to start? Or because we don’t find much really worth worshipping? Try and make a quick worship list here and now: what did you put up the top and how far past two did you get..
Since it’s January, maybe Cricket and a particular bowler or batsman got a mention. As its common knowledge we Australians worship sport - especially those Melbournians – perhaps looking at sport will provide some clues. Obviously professional cricket players have great skills. They train hard and long. They put the effort in and they get paid big money. Oh, they are shown on TV for long periods of time. So, is it skill or fame that makes us want to watch them so much or bring them up in conversation? Is it that other people do the same and so we see that they are worthy of our attention and interest? I wonder if that means worshipping is mostly thinking about or enjoyment of the object I worship.
Back in the day when I married the love of my life, the minister got me to say words like “with my body I will worship you” – speaking to my bride of course! Being a more traditional Anglican wedding service it used ‘quaint’ ideas. Naturally, at the time, I was all for it - just as I was all for my bride. Worshipping her what I was ready for and what I wanted to do. I had no problem in telling whoever turned up that my wife-to-be deserved a bit of my special consideration. At this point worship was to do with the giving of worth and the willing surrender to the influence of the one being worshipped. Now, over thirty years later, I am wondering if the love of my life actually thinks I have actually ever worshipped her..
This week Christian churches celebrate The Epiphany. An ancient practice (say 3rd century AD) based on an even more ancient event. A small group of wise men decided to travel a relatively great distance to join in worshipping. It’s quite amazing. Really. Imagine ‘truth’ seekers, star-gazers or learn-ed scholars actually agreeing to travel together, committing considerable resources and time to follow a bright star toward someone worthy of their combined attention. Even more bizarre is the concept that they were coming to worship a previously unknown, newly-born ‘King’ of a different occupied country ruled by the Emperor of the Roman Empire. I can only guess it took a fairly powerful moment or idea to move them to comprehend that there was someone more important and worthy that they just had to go see – some kind of powerful ‘epiphany’ was needed!
You know, it is my fervent prayer that each person reading this will receive such an insight. Otherwise I just don’t see us saying to each other “let’s get worshipping” Jesus Christ and going to church this Epiphany. Nor do I imagine we can sustain the devotion and substantial commitment of resources that being a follower of Jesus requires without God bringing his Epiphany to us. Do you?