Do you ever feel like you are on the sidelines of worship, a spiritual spectator? I noticed that I was permeated by excitement this morning, while I got ready, when I ate my breakfast, and even while I was folding laundry. I am looking forward with great anticipation to this sermon series I am preaching in July. That’s right. All this energy and elation at something over a week away, and that something is worship. There is nothing like worship of God Almighty that includes you bringing your best gifts and talents to bear to glorify and proclaim the majesty of God. This sermon series is about the second creation story in Genesis, and I am casually referring to it as “Naked Vegetarians.” The more I study, reread, and prayerfully discern this text, the more I find that God has a lot to say to us in it and through it. I get to be part of that revelation in just under two weeks. It will all unfold in worship with others who love Christ and proclaim the Gospel of salvation.
Worship is where you should feel empowered to use what God has given to you. It is the realm where you can be everything this world tries so desperately to keep from you. In the sanctity of the House of God, you should find acceptance, unconditional love, accountability that is about growing you into the fullness of your being, not shaming you into self-loathing. So our worship should reflect the transformation that occurs when we enter into a sanctuary where God bathes us in love and swathes us in grace. Do not allow yourself to just sit there, stand there, kneel there. Let the joy of being saved from every single sin you have committed flow through you, course through your veins, and enliven what you offer to the Living God. Do not become pillars of salt: stiff and rooted in looking back, but embrace what God is doing for you here and now, and revel in the presence of the Holy Lord when you go to worship.
If we do not open ourselves to discovering the richness of what can be when we use of gifts and graces for the glory of God, then worship will always be difficult to endure, boring, and an obligation when it can and should be so much more. Every one of us has something to bring to enrich the worship the Body of Christ offers up. Each person is blessed with something that should be celebrated, and direct us back to the goodness of God. Use what you have. Pray for the courage to offer it up before the people of God. Always act, think, speak, pray and worship from a heart of gratitude, and worship will change for you. Even better, it will be changed for all of us who gather with you. The possibilities are endless, and that excites me, too.