All Of Life As Worship

All Of Life As Worship September 15, 2014

    Worshipinvolves all of life. We worship when we desire or praise or surrender or obeyor thank or serve or trust or rejoice or regret or love. Every one of these isan expression of worship because each of these indicates that something hasvalue to us. In this sense, all of life is worship—not potential worshipbut actual worship of someone or something.

There is noone-to-one relationship between the English word “worship” and any term inGreek or Hebrew. There are two primary word groups used for worship in thebiblical languages: words meaning “to bow, bend, pay homage” and words meaning“to serve, labor.” Curiously, both word groups appear often throughout the OldTestament, but when we come to the NT, something remarkable happens. Both wordsappear throughout the gospels during the life and ministry of Jesus (and inRevelation), but when we come to the epistles—the letters to churches andchurch leaders—these words disappear almost entirely. Why?

I believethe answer is found in the words of Jesus, from His conversation with the womanat the well:  “Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, believe me, the hour is comingwhen neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalemwill you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship whatwe know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is nowhere, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, forthe Father is seeking such people to worship him.’” (Jn 4:21-23)

Jesus isanticipating a worship unbound by specifics of outward form. He deliberatelyshifts categories from place (“neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem”) to internalessence (“in spirit and in truth”). Why? Because of the cross. The cross makesbelievers holy by Jesus’ blood, which means their whole existence is set apartto God. Our whole life is worship, meant to demonstrate the priceless worth ofour Savior.

The wayworship is broadened and intensified in the New Testament leads to severalimplications. First, worship is not merely the Sunday gathering, and it isespecially not only singing. Second, there remain no sacred buildings, nosacred rituals of approach to God. Third, God does not measure theacceptability of our life by the fervency of our worship on Sunday. He measuresthe acceptability of our Sunday worship by the obedience of our dailylife.