According to Collins dictionary it is “to show religious devotions to love and admire”. The 1647 Westminster Catechism states “in teaching that man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.”
Human salvation consists in communion with the beneficent God.
The first commandment – say to worship the Lord God and he alone (Exodus 20.16, Deuteronomy 5.6-10 Matthew 4.10 Luke 4.8)
When the Lord called on Pharaoh to let his people go it was so that they might Worship or Serve him, (Exodus 3.13) People throughout the Bible have worshiped God in different ways – festivals, feasts, dance, song and playing their various musical instruments.
They worshiped God in the Temples, Booths or Tabernacles.
In the New testament, Christians assembled in the name of Jesus (Matthew 18.20) and so they became – church – the most characteristic thing they did was to celebrate the “Lord’s Supper. (1 Corinthians 11.17-34)
Prayer has always been at the centre of worship together with songs, hymns, psalms and spiritual songs. Worship can be down alone or in a small group playing favourite songs, lifting one’s hands and praising God verbally as well. However, when we come together as a group of Christians - Church and worship we are entering into God’s presence.
With all the business of life and the demands on us it is important that we make an effort to go into fellowship and worship in God’s presence as “one body”.
Bodily expression of worship can include: -
Eyes – Psalm 123: To you I lift up my eyes O you who are enthroned in the heavens!
Ears - Psalm 78: I give ear of my people to my teaching, incline your ears to the words of my maker.
Mouth - Psalm 33.3: Sing a new song
Psalm 95.1: O come let us sing to the Lord, let us make a joyful noise to the rock of salvation.
Hands – Psalm 47.1: Clap your hands all you people shout to God with a loud song of joy.
Psalm 134.2: Lift up your hands to the holy place and bless the Lord.
Heart - Psalm 138.1: I give you thanks O Lord with my whole heart.
Psalm 111.1: I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart in the company of the upright in the congregation.
Knees - Psalm 95.6: Come let us worship and bow down let us kneel before the Lord our maker.
Psalm 138.2: I bow down to your temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness.
Feet - Psalm 123.2: Our feet are standing with your gates O Jerusalem.
Psalm 149.3: Let them praise his name with dancing.
Worship with music – many churches have worship bands. Psalm 33.2 Praise the Lord with
the lyre make melody to him with the harp of ten strings.
Today musical instruments can now include guitars, drums and various wind instruments.
Worship can also include dancing, painting, flower arranging, carpentry, acting and many
more other types of art. It is the person / persons way of giving their all – talents, gifts to
God with thanks.
Whatever part of worship we find we enjoy let us do it with all our hearts, mind and body.
We can never praise God enough for all he has and will continue to give us.
Psalm 150 1.6 Sums up worship completely.
This hymn also celebrates the meaning of worship
For the music of creation,
for the song your Spirit sings,
for your sound’s divine expression,
burst of joy in living things:
God, our God, the world’s composer,
hear us, echoes of your voice –
music is your art, your glory,
let the human heart rejoice!
Psalms and symphonies exalt you,
drum and trumpet, string and reed,
simple melodies acclaim you,
tunes that rise from deepest need,
hymns of longing and belonging,
carols from a cheerful throat,
lilt of lullaby and love song
catching heaven in a note.
All the voices of the ages
in transcendent chorus meet,
worship lifting up the senses,
hands that praise, and dancing feet;
over discord and division
music speaks your joy and peace,
harmony of earth and heaven,
song of God that cannot cease!
( Shirley Erena Murray )