Since Cain and Abel first made their offering of thanks to God, we, His children, have been trying to get our worship of God 'right'. This story of Cain and Abel tells us that the worship that pleases God is worship that comes from a humble, thankful heart. Worship is not a responsibility or obligation; it is an opportunity for me to express love to my Lord who loved me first!
David - Credited with writing most of the psalms, King David is said to have been a man after God's heart (1 Samuel 13:14). His worship reflects the depth of his relationship with his Lord - joy, tears, dancing (2 Samuel 6:14), and song.
Moses and Miriam - In Exodus 15 this brother and sister wrote a beautiful song of praise to God who brought them out of Egypt
Mary - Luke (2) records the beautiful words of Jesus' mother as she worships with her cousin, Elizabeth, praising God for the miracles in their lives
Anna - it is said (Luke 2) that she was a prophetess and never left the temple but worshiped day and night
King Jehoshaphat's army- this has to be one of the great acts of worship and steps of faith in Biblical history! It truly gives us a true example of how to 'wage war in the heavenlies'! (2 Chronicles 20)
The Last Supper - Christ's creation of the sacrament of communion shows us how reconciliation is a key element in the worship of our Lord.
Music for many people is a perfect vehicle to express the words of their heart to God. Whether it is with vocal singing or dance or using instruments, music with all its styles can bring us into an 'intimate conversation' with God.
Reading and sharing Scripture can be just as intimate as we express God's inspired words back to Him.
Giving of our tithes and offerings is a wonderful way to express our thanksgiving and faith to our God who is faithful and extravagant!
Any time members of the Body come together with the intent to glorify God is an opportunity to worship Him. It could even happen in our dining room! The ideal is that everything we do becomes an act of worship.
Order doesn't always mean quiet, controlled, and solemn. A baseball game has an order to it, but many variations can occur as the game is played, all within this order. Those who love baseball may find the kind of order displayed in a hockey game disturbing, yet there is an order specified by the rules and traditions of the game.
In a church service, the unity of those who gather and their purpose make up the "rules of the game" that set the tone and the boundaries of the service. Within that unity, the worship service can take many different and unique forms, and still be orderly.
But just as the rules and implements used in one game are part of a system, so are the rules of worship. A player on ice skates would be out of place in a baseball game, while a baseball bat-quite useful in its place-would probably be used as a weapon in a hockey game.
When we visit another church or are involved in worship, we need to be aware of how others are worshipping, so that we can act in unity with that worship. We need to give up our own desires in order to worship with others. But just as I can choose to watch one sport and not another, so I can choose to worship where I can express myself to God. It is the heart that counts.
There are many, many books and CDs available.
Cried Holy, by Floyd Ellsworth, available from Doxology Records (CD).
A Touch of Glory: It's Your Destiny, by Lindell Cooley (Book).
All scripture quotations taken from the Contemporary English Version, Copyright © 1995 American Bible Society.
Copyright © 2005, Henry E. Neufeld
Taken from the Participatory Study Series