“Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” Psalm 100:2 NIV
We had just arrived at our destination. After safely navigating the passport lines, baggage check, and finding our shuttle we almost missed, we rode along looking out the windows as true tourists do. I noticed there weren’t many people in the streets but those we did see were not in any hurry. Then all of a sudden there was a crowd. As we got closer, I saw the crowd was huge and the people all seemed to be at one location. There were so many people gathered that they poured into the street and surrounded a building. That’s when I saw it, the cross. At that moment I realized they were at church! Not only were they at church but those that couldn’t get in the building surrounded it. The windows of the church were all open and the front doors remained open as on-lookers attempted to hear and apparently attend the service.
I had forgotten, with all our travels (leaving one country and arriving in another), that it was Sunday. I marveled at what I saw and it changed the way I viewed worship. Not only did people stand outside while worshipping but it was hot outside. Obviously there was no air conditioner in the building since the windows were all open. That didn’t stop them from wanting more. More of what? More of God.
Their desperation was visible. They were desperate to worship God. I had honestly never seen anything like it. They knew something about worship……it is a privilege to worship God. Worship appeared to be their lifestyle, like breathing, they were not able to function without worshiping God. They count it a blessing to worship the living God.
Let us go to his dwelling place, let us worship at his footstool, saying, “Arise, Lord, and come to your resting place, you and the ark of your might. May your priests be clothed with your righteousness; may your faithful people sing for joy.” Psalm 132:7-9 NIV
Am I that desperate to get to church? Am I desperate to worship? I would hazard to guess not as much as them. The people that I saw knew something I didn’t about worship. They were thankful for the opportunity to worship and that alone was an act of worship. I marveled at this when I saw it because it’s not something I see at home.
Worship can be taken for granted. The opportunity alone is a blessing. To come to the throne of His grace and sing praises, hear His word, and meditate on His promises, pray to Him and even being thankful for His blessings are all a form of WORSHIP.
Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. John 4:23 NIV
When we returned home, I took note of the differences. Some people stood and some sat during worship. Some talked and others sang. Some were on time while others strolled in late even after the praise team left the stage. I’ve even heard people say, “I just come for the Word of God not the singing before.” It’s ALL WORSHIP. After coming back to the states, I have a new understanding of worship and hope you will too.
The Lord reigns, let the nations tremble; he sits enthroned between the cherubim, let the earth shake. Great is the Lord in Zion; he is exalted over all the nations. Let them praise your great and awesome name—he is holy. Psalm 99: 1-3 NIV
Thank You Father, for the opportunity to come into Your presence. You remind me of how important it is to worship You in spirit and in truth. You are worthy and I will praise Your name Forever! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.