Lent 8: Worship Freely
We are hungry, so we eat. We are tired, so we sleep. We answer when our name is called. There are emails and phone calls requesting a reply. There are schedules to be readjusted in light of unexpected events. There is so much to respond to that we often have to prioritize what is worthy of a response.
When the magi in the gospel of Matthew saw an unusual star that aligned with an Old Testament prophecy about the coming of the king, they prioritized their response (Num. 24:17). They cleared their schedules, packed their bags, and set out to find the child. It is unclear how much the magi really knew about who this baby was that they found in Bethlehem, but when they saw him, they bowed down and worshiped him. Their action tells us that they believed this child was one worthy of their praise. Their worship was a reaction for beholding God’s perfect self-revelation, Jesus Christ. He was worthy of their worship.
We hear the word “worship” and probably think of church. But worship is much more than a place on the church bulletin. When we worship God, we are responding to who he is and what he has done for each of us. Worship is like writing a thank you card. We acknowledge the gift that has been received and respond in gratitude to the giver. God has given the ultimate gift, one we could not possibly purchase for ourselves. Through the death and resurrection of Jesus, God provided a way for us to be restored into relationship with him. God did this because of his love (John 3:16), and we are able to love in response (1 John 4:19). Through Jesus’ faithfulness in completing the work on the cross, we are enabled to live by faith, trusting that he has truly reconciled us with God. He is worthy of our responsive worship. And our worship should be authentic and free.
So think of how you worship God. Do you worship without inhibition or are you reserved? Giving of yourself to God means you give all you are. It’s time for worship to reflect the joy we have in our identity. Would people see your joy in the way you worship?