Monday, December 3, 2007

Praise, Worship… and then Learn

A frazzled family was rushing around one morning, trying to get out the door to church, knowing they were already going to be late. “Don’t worry, mom,” their adolescent son said. “I don’t like the singing anyway.” “Oh,” cautioned the mom. “That’s the most important part.” “It is?” replied the child. “I thought we were there to hear a sermon.” “No!” said the mom. “The sermon is our time to learn, but the singing is our time to praise.”

Why is praise and worship so important? Isn’t God happy if we at least sit through a sermon once a week? Of course He is, but He tells us in the Bible repeatedly that He desires a personal relationship with His children. Worshiping Him through praise songs is our way of showing gratitude. It is then – and not during the teaching time – that we acknowledge the blessings, protection and life that God has granted us through salvation. “Oh, sing to the Lord a new song! For He has done marvelous things.” Psalm 98:1a

Our King, just like any other, deserves to hear our praise, our gratitude for all that He has given us and allowed us to have. Still, singing at church goes even deeper than letting God know we appreciate Him. People have a difficult time doing two things at once. When we’re singing songs of worship, it’s challenging for us to contemplate stressful situations that may be coming in the week ahead. It’s tough to be a sourpuss when we’re clapping along to the music. It’s hard to think of our own problems when we’re singing to someone who shed His own blood for us. The fact that He was tortured and died for us puts our own trials in perspective. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23

Boy, do we have reason to celebrate! Because He died, moreover, because He lives, we can live too – in a life everlasting without sorrow and tribulation. Before His ascension, Jesus was seen by hundreds of people. He really walked on the Earth and he really died for our sins and rose again. These historical facts are enough to praise Him for, but when you consider the blessings he gives us every day, we don’t have a right not to worship our King. “Oh come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.” Psalm 95:1

It’s ok to be a little selfish when you sing. Hopefully, a catchy tune will stick in your head and lift you up throughout the week as you repeat words of praise and worship. Singing in church once a week can align our hearts and minds with our Heavenly Father’s until the following Sabbath. It can also prepare our hearts to hear the message God wants to give us through our pastor. “Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.” Psalm 29:2b

We honor God by attending church faithfully and being attentive to the instruction our pastor gives. The sermon is God’s teachings through the preacher to us. The singing is our time to worship God, our gift to Him. “Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous; And shout for joy, all you upright in heart!” Psalm 32:11

by Gia Clunie

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