worship defined

Liesl is a worship leader in town and she offered to loan me a book on worship renewal, I took her up on it but never had the time to read past the preface. But in that preface was one of the best definitions of worship that I’ve ever read. I had to return the book to her but I got on amazon.com and bought the book for myself. I may actually read it someday, but until then I’ll just keep reading the preface over and over. Here it is:

“On a Mother’s Day many years ago, my brother and I decided to celebrate the occasion by surprising our parents with breakfast in bed. We were just kids, thoroughly inexperienced in the cooking arts, but how hard could it be to scramble eggs, fry bacon, and crack open a can of ready made biscuits? We knocked on their bedroom door and entered with two glasses of orange juice, a freshly picked rose, the Sunday paper, and a cheery greeting: ‘HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!!!’ We told them just to stay in bed, relax, and read the paper. Breakfast was on the way.

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They played along amiably with the game, remaining serenely in bed thumbing through the paper and ignoring the sounds from the kitchen of glass shattering and grease fires being extinguished. In due course my brother and I marched triumphantly into their room bearing steaming plates of ten minute eggs, carbonized bacon, and biscuits that would challenge an apprentice stonemason.

It was, our parents said as they wolfed it down, the most delicious breakfast they had ever eaten. Love, evidently, is a wonderful spice.

We need to remind ourselves that even when Christian worship is at its best, it is much like that Mother’s Day breakfast. It is always the work of amateurs, people who do this for love, kids in the kitchen overcooking the prayers, half-baking the sermons, and crashing and stumbling through the responses on the way to an act of adoration.

The moment of truth in worship is when we emerge from the smoke, and grease filled kitchen with our little trays and enter with adoration into the presence of God. There we will find that God transforms our meager loaves and fishes into a feast of joy and welcomes us as children truly at home. Then, anxious and troubled though our lives may be, we take leave of our earthbound senses. Confident that we, so often lost in the bewilderments of life, have been found at last by the One to whom we finally belong, we become lost again, this time lost in wonder, love, and praise.”

Thomas G. Long, "Beyond the Worship Wars"

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