We all know that the Church is a people not a place, yet Christians across the globe go to church on any given Sunday. Similarly we gather for worship when in fact, for the Christian, all of life is meant to be worship. Are these semantic choices reflections of deeper held beliefs? Or are we just at a loss for words; have we become lazy and unintentional with language?
If someone randomly asks me at any point in the day if I love my wife, my answer will be yes. While at the present moment I may not have been thinking about her, I subscribe to the notion that I am trying to work hard to support our family and that I look forward to seeing her in person when I come home. When I get home I have opportunity to look at her and talk to her. We also make sure that there are times when we are able to share life with each other intimately and intentionally. Conversely, if I call myself a husband and work all day presumptively “in love” with my wife, yet I never go home or engage her intentionally, I run the risk of my heart growing estranged and forgetting our relationship.
Obviously there are holes in every analogy, but as the Christian looks at one’s relationship with God and what it means to worship, different levels of intentionality and purpose are at play.
In true Reformed practice, we come to God in “response” to his call or action in our life.1 It is true that all of life is worship. Our lives are meant to be lived in response to the grace of God. We are meant to offer our bodies as living sacrifices and practice obedience and Christian discipline.2 We encourage the expression of art, the discovery of science and the industry of labor as a means of demonstrating this end.
Some ask, “What’s up with all the singing in worship?”
Worship Arts is a picture. We believe in the Trinity and, therefore, we believe God operates out of relationship. God desires this same kind of divine, harmonious, love relationship for his people.3 Community and corporate gatherings have been around as long as the existence of humanity. The human expressions of joy, thanks, hurt and need seem to be universally expressed and collectively understood throughout history by means of artistic mediums. So it is natural to both “live” the truths of one’s beliefs and “express” them in kind. Anything less is hypocrisy. When worship leaders prepare for various expressions of corporate worship by organizing a liturgy, practicing the music or creating new banners, they are no less engaged in the life of a worshiper as when they participate in the act of singing a worship song. The practice of corporate expression serves as a demonstrative picture; a reminder and catalyst for the lifestyle of the worshiper.
It says in I John 4:19: “We love because he first loved us.” ↩
For a more in depth understanding of what it means to be a living sacrifice, practice obedience and Christian discipleship, read these passages in the Bible: Romans 12:1, I Samuel 15:22, Psalm 51:16-17, 103:1, Isaiah 58, and Micah 6:8. ↩
Genesis 1:26, John 17:21, Revelation 7:9 ↩