My wife, my son, and I went to an AWESOME worship experience!
Held at the Galloway UMC near Franklin, PA, it was a little bit concert, but a lot more of worship… yet not like a “contemporary” or “traditional” worship service.
Worship leaders Nic & Rachel Billman, of Shores of Grace ministries, were the primary vocalists, and Nic was clearly the team leader.
During the course of the evening, they shared from John 12:1-3, where Mary (the sister of Lazarus) came to where Jesus was and anointed his feet with a very expensive perfume. And Scripture says “The house was filled with its fragrance.” (NLT)
The Billmans explained that, as a church, we need to have our times of worship be like that time of anointing. Like Mary, what we do for Jesus so permeates the very air around us that even after we leave, people can still tell we’ve been with Jesus. What do we do in worship?? Is it about this person’s favorite hymn or that chorus those people like so much? Is it really supposed to be about the responses or the ways to commune or when the offering is taken?
NO! Worship is something WE do FOR Jesus! It is SO much like Mary anointing Jesus’ feet. She took a jar of “nard” (some kind of perfume) and lavishly gave it all for Him! In fact, I remember reading once that the cost of that nard probably would be akin to a year’s worth of paychecks for one of us now-a-days. She gave her all! She gave her best!
That’s the kind of worship we need in our times of gathering as the church. We so focus on him and expressing our love to Him, that there is a fragrance of sorts that clings to us as we go back to our everyday world after church services. But that requires that we give our best and give our all when we go to worship.
How? How about by doing what the Bible already tells us: Enter his gates with thanksgiving and come into his courts with praise?
Far too often, we have had a struggle to get out the door just to make it to the church building on time. (Especially if you have kids it seems!) We have had words with our spouse, or we had to jump the car battery, or ran into a grouchy person at the gas station en route. And of course there’s Mrs. McGillycutty who has that hideous hat on in the pew ahead of you. How can you enjpy worship with stuff like that going on?
And of course, then we bring all of that with us as we enter his gates and come into his courts. And so the worship experience is pretty flat for us.
The gathered worshippers in Galloway this evening were challenged to let all of that stuff go… and to offer our very best to God as we worshipped in listening and, occasionally, singing.
As we prepare for another Sunday morning worship time, let’s start the worship BEFORE we walk into the church building… Sing in your heart, think through (maybe even as a family) how God has been in your midst as you have travelled through this past week… and THANK Him.
Worship doesn’t come from a bulletin… it comes in with a worshipper. And as we lavishly pour out our worship on our Lord, we will walk away looking and talking and smelling like Jesus!