What is worship? Do we throw the term around too loosely? Do we even understand what it truly is? John Piper sheds light on this subject in his book “Let The Nations Be Glad”. If you haven’t read it, check it out. It’s definitely a must read.
“For thousands of people and pastors the event of worship on Sunday morning (that is, the worship service) is conceived of as a means to accomplish something other than worship. We ‘worship’ to raise money; we ‘worship’ to attract crowds; we ‘worship’ to heal human hurts; we ‘worship’ to recruit workers; we ‘worship’ to improve church morale. We ‘worship’ to give talented musicians an opportunity to fulfill their calling; we ‘worship’ to teach our children the way of righteousness; we ‘worship’ to help marriages stay together; we ‘worship’ to evangelize the lost among us; we ‘worship’ to motivate people for service projects; we ‘worship’ to give our churches a family feeling, and so on. If we are not careful, when we speak of aiming at these things ‘through worship’ we bear witness that we do not know what true worship is. Genuine affections for God (the essence of worship) are an end in themselves.”
“Worship is not first an outward act; it is an inner spiritual treasuring of the character and the ways of God in Christ. It is a cherishing of Christ, a being satisfied with all that God is for us in Christ. When these things are missing, there is no worship, no matter what forms or expressions are present”
Furthermore, Piper explains in his opening thesis:
“Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn’t. Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate, not man. When this age is over, and the countless millions of the redeemed fall on their faces before the throne of God, missions will be no more. It is a temporary necessity. But worship abides forever.
So worship is a treasuring of Christ and treasuring Christ is ultimate. Therefore, if worship is ultimate everything else is a result of that worship. In other words, worship is not a means to something greater. It is an end in itself, for it is the overflow of joy in our hearts.
- A Magnificent Day! (matthewwynne.wordpress.com)