Worship: The Father's Gift
WORSHIP: THE FATHER’S GIFT
What is worship? I don’t mean the five acts of worship – pray, sing, give, study the word, and eat the communion meal. Anyone can go through those motions in complete boredom. I want to dig deeper to the heart of worship.
I propose five characteristics of genuine worship.
We assign a high worth to the object of worship. We value it, believe it to be important. The word worship comes from the ancient worth-ship, to celebrate the value and importance – the worthiness – of a person or thing.We seek to know the object of worship. We become fans… fanatics. We obsess over it, unable to fix our attention elsewhere.We want to be known by the object of worship. We crave its attention. We find ways to express ourselves and our love.We offer gifts, parts of ourselves given to the object of our worship. We even give more than we can afford – we sacrifice – for its benefit and welfare.We get joy or pleasure – an emotional lift – from all this valuing, seeking, expression, and giving.
At this point in most church essays it’s popular to encourage us to be more worshipful. But the Father has taken me down a different path this time.
Worship is valuing, knowing, expressing, giving, and enjoying. But I wasn’t talking about us.
I’m here to tell you that God worships you!
He’s God and we’re not. I get that. But hear me out.
God values you above all else. You are the peak of his creation and the subject of his ongoing re-creation. John 3:16 says, “God so loved the world…” It wasn’t the third rock from the Sun that he loved so much. It was us warm, fuzzy bipeds.God seeks to know everything about you. He knows more about you than you do. Jesus said that the Father knows the number of hairs on your head. (Luke 12:7) <Insert your own bald joke here.> That’s serious obsession!He expresses himself, wanting you to know him. Through the Bible, yes, but he doesn’t stop there. He craves your attention. In the Ten Commandments, he described himself as jealous, not willing to share your attention with anything else. (Exodus 20:5)He sacrifices for you. You’ve heard it said that God loves a cheerful giver. (2 Cor 9:7) You don’t know a more cheerful giver than God. He would rather die than live without you. Jesus went to the cross to overcome that nasty sin barrier that separated us from God, but he doesn’t regret it. He doesn’t play guilt games. You don’t find Jesus saying, “I did this for you, now what are you going to do for me?”God enjoys you. Look how Jesus – God with skin on – treated those around him. He hung out with the unwashed masses. He preferred earthy fishermen, tax collectors, sons of thunder, zealous terrorists, and even Judas Iscariot over the nice, prim, and proper religious elite. The rag-tag common people weren’t his project, his burden. They were his friends.
God worships you! Let that sink in. There’s no call to action here. Just bathe in the Father’s love. Let him love on you awhile. If he wants you to do something about it, he’ll let you know. Until then, crawl into his lap and arms and let him love on you.
We know that the Father is worthy of our worship and praise, but it’s humbling and freeing to ponder that he worships us first. Everything starts with him, doesn’t it?
But come to think of it, we see that same behavior in our own families. We value, know, express ourselves to, sacrifice for, and enjoy babies in our own families. We worship them before they even know who we are.
Worship always was about relationship. And it shouldn’t surprise me that relationship begins with the Father.
God worships you!
Consider. What do you think?