Is getting up on Sunday mornings tough when you have been up with your friends the night before? Is it hard to balance worship with your kid’s sports schedule or weekend competitions? Does it ever seem boring hearing the same stuff and singing some of the same songs week after week?
If you have these or similar questions, you are probably asking the question, ‘why is worship important?’ Doesn’t God love me whether or not I show up for worship on Sunday morning? Can’t I pray and read the Bible on my own and still be a good Christian? Worship is not primarily about fufulling a religious obligation. It’s not primarily about making us feel good or for creating family togetherness or developing morality or for making sure that we are in God’s ‘in crowd.’
As God’s creation, we are designed for relationship with God, for conversation, for spending time together in community, for receiving the gifts that our heavenly Father desires for us to have, for giving thanks and sharing our gifts with others. In short we are designed to worship. We are not whole until we are surrounded and immersed in God’s love and saving grace.
Worship may seem strange to a newcomer in all its forms and rituals, but generations and centuries have shown worship to be the central way that God forms and surrounds us in the free gift of love that is given through Jesus Christ, died and risen for all. Through worship we come to know and experience the God known in Jesus: we are shaped and formed by being splashed with the waters of Baptism, by hearing, singing, and even tasting the Word of God in Holy Communion. Even when we seem to zone out (while it’s not recommended), God’s Word works on us as we worship.
Worship feeds us so that we have what we need to serve in the world. It gives us the opportunity to give thanks and praise to the Creator who makes and provides for us, to Jesus, who saves us, and to the Holy Spirit, who gives us what we need to go where we need to go. Worship works things in us that we don’t always know about! In fact, belief is not even a requirement to begin worshipping, it is the opposite: hearing the Word in worship births faith in our hearts and fruit in our lives.
For these reasons and more, worship is possibly the most important thing you do each week! You will be blessed as you commit to weekly worship, whether at St. Paul or wherever your week takes you.