The Beauty of Worship

Greetings in Christ,

‘Worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness;’ Psalm 96.9

My son, Matt, teases me at Sunday dinner, at least I think he is teasing me, about how the pastor went on and on during worship.  It is funny how we look at time.  Last Saturday night Matt and I went to the Iowa State game against Texas.  The game started at 6:00 pm and ended at about 9:30 pm.  Neither of us complained a bit that it was taking too long, in fact we probably would have enjoyed even more time watching the Clones win.  We enjoyed the time at the game because our hearts saw the beauty of the game.

If we regard worship as an obligation to be fulfilled, then worship will not be beautiful for us.  If it is not beautiful to our hearts, then the minutes will drag and an hour given to worship will seem unending.  How does worship become beautiful?  How can it be transformed from something to be endured to something in which our souls rejoice?

We discover the beauty of worship by heeding the Psalm, the beauty of worship is in the beauty of the Lord.  Whenever someone says to me that worship is boring or uninteresting, I remind them that we encounter the living God in worship.  Such an encounter is never boring.  Worship, our encounter with God, may be poorly led, badly planned by those who lead it, but coming into God’s presence is never boring.

There are a few things we can do so that we may discover the beauty of the Lord in any worship service.  The first is our attitude.  If we come expecting that we will meet our Lord in worship we will find our spirits open to His presence in even a poorly planned or led worship.  Secondly, we should give some time to learning what each part of worship is about and what it means.  The more fully we understand what we are doing, the more fully we become involved in the worship.  Thirdly, we should be in prayer for those leading worship.  The vast majority of pastors want to lead worship in a holy and useful manner.  Some are more gifted than others, but most are doing the best they can with the talents they have.  Our prayers will go a long way sustaining them as they lead as well as preparing our hearts to worship.  Lastly, if the worship is not showing us the beauty of the Lord, then we should talk with those who are given the responsibility to lead worship. It may be that together any deficiencies in our worship can be discovered and improvements made.

Worship is at the heart of our relationship with God our Father.  Let us seek to discover the beauty of Lord in holy worship.