As a kid, I was dragged, um… persuaded to attend church by my parents. The rule was, “if you are too sick (my go-to excuse) to go to church, then you are too sick to play with your friends after”. (And let’s be clear, my miraculous recoveries were not attributed to God’s healing!) The main reason I hated church was the sheer boredom I experienced during the worship service. It appeared to me that no one was happy about being there, and everyone was just going through the motions because it’s “what you were supposed to do”.
The word worship means to express love and adoration. It isn’t merely going through the motions, but actually showing heartfelt devotion and praise. It should be joyful, not miserable or forced. This is what we see in Revelation chapter 4, where John is given a glimpse behind the scenes.
“Day after day and night after night they keep on saying, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty— the one who always was, who is, and who is still to come.” 9 Whenever the living beings give glory and honor and thanks to the one sitting on the throne (the one who lives forever and ever), 10 the twenty-four elders fall down and worship the one sitting on the throne (the one who lives forever and ever). And they lay their crowns before the throne and say, 11 “You are worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power. For you created all things, and they exist because you created what you pleased.”
Revelation 4:8-11 (NLT)
This is worship. Here is a way to look at this that most of us can understand. Imagine going to your all-time favorite musician or band’s concert. Throughout the concert there is yelling, screaming and applause of appreciation and at the end of the concert there is a long and loud call for an encore. Most of us have experienced something like this. Now imagine, you are in the presence of the Creator God, the One who sent His Son to rescue you from the penalty of your sin, at the greatest expense He provided what you needed to have forgiveness, freedom and eternal life. Worship is like giving Him a standing ovation, expressing gratitude and awe. Now that should be anything but boring!