You may remember the phrase “happiness is…” from the Peanuts gang.
Doesn’t that make you smile? According to Schulz, happiness can be defined by a lot of little things in life that bring us joy. This summer, I’d like to borrow from his approach and take a look at some of the things that define worship. We’ll call it “Worship Is…” Each week through June and July, we’ll complete that sentence and discuss a different aspect of worship.
Worship is seeing.
“…when you speak and when you move,
when you do what only you can do,
it changes us, it changes what we see and what we seek…”
Spirit of the Living God, Vertical Church Band
Worship happens when we see God, who He is, and what He has done, not just in scripture or in others’ lives around us, but in our own life. We see in scripture that God delivered the Israelites from the bondage of Egypt, but do we see that God has delivered us from our own slavery to the enemy? We see that God promises forgiveness to those who repent, but do we see our own forgiveness setting us free from self-hatred and guilt?
Isaiah saw God. In Isaiah 6:1-7, when he caught a glimpse of heaven, he said:
5 And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”
Isaiah saw God and it changed him. Paul saw God, too. In Acts 9:1-19, we read of his encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus. After losing his sight in that encounter, Saul went to Ananias, whom God had spoken to about Saul:
17 So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized; 19 and taking food, he was strengthened.
Paul encountered God and the power of His Spirit. It changed what he saw (quite literally on this occasion!). And it changed what he sought.
If you go back and look at both of these encounters, you will see that God then called these men to service. When we see God, when we encounter Him, change happens both in us and through us. Every encounter may not be as dramatic as these examples, but every encounter moves us closer to understanding our true identity as children of our Heavenly Father.
Worship is about seeing. We aren’t just coming to worship each week to enjoy our favorite songs or be inspired by a well-crafted sermon, but to encounter a living God who desires that we see Him more clearly and seek our mission more passionately.
We’ll see you on Sunday as we see Him and seek Him together!
Jeremy Buzzard, Director of Music
Check out the songs we’ll be singing in Contemporary Worship (11:15am) this week: