Last night at the church gathering at our house, we enjoyed some wonderful food. Vegan Japanese food lovingly made by one of our members. We always share the cooking duties so we all can use our gifts of service and hospitality. Though it isn't a cooking contest, it almost seems like it sometimes as the food we get is so amazing.
After eating, one of our members lead us in a discussion about worship. Having been raised in the church he had a very set view of what worship was. It was the slower songs that followed the faster ones at the beginning of the service. He told us about his journey towards a completely different view of worship now. One that encompasses thanksgiving in the midst of daily life, a sense of appreciation and awe.
Then we all shared our own experiences. I was raised Catholic so I shared about how it wasn't about music at all, but about the Eucharist. Then I became a born again pentecostal and it became all about music and emotion and even posture. I then became a big devote of alternative worship, engaging arts into worship experiences, which I still love to participate in. Now worship is more about living my life surrendered to God.
A few of our community do not have a faith in God, and it was interesting to hear their reflections about what worship means. One said he viewed it as contrived and worthless when he was younger. Seeing people do all of this emotional stuff yet they lived totally self absorbed lives. But as he got older and developed a spirituality he looks at it as being in the moment, appreciating the good world, the beauty of the plants and animals, doing good to others and making a difference.
Others shared about their ideas of worship. Some still loved singing songs, some hated singing songs, some enjoyed silence, but we all decided worship was more than something we did at a meeting. The question then became, how can we reflect what worship is in our individual lives when we gather?
So my questions to you is, what does worship mean to you? And how do you see it best reflected when the saints gather? and how should our gathering worship effect our everyday life?