Define Worship

I would like to talk for the next few days about a word that we Christians use a lot that quite frankly I really have a difficult time defining: worship.

Most of the time the word is connected with music, or other religious activities: prayer, Scripture reading/meditation, Communion, Baptism, Sunday services

Whatever we connect it with it tends to be something done at a special time in a certain way. This seems in line with the Old Testament pattern: the Jews would go to the temple to worship God. They would bring their sacrifices and seek spiritual cleansing.

But does this view of worship align with the New Testament teaching and patterns? I hope to explore that question a little more over the next couple of days. But for now let me just ask: How do you define worship?

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About Dan Allen

Just some guy trying to figure stuff out... View all posts by Dan Allen

6 responses to “Define Worship

  • Marshall

    looking at “worship” is a “truth stranger than fiction”.
    Here’s “worship” as Abraham, Isaac, Israel, Jesus of Nazareth understood the meaning & use of that word:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/ancienthebreworg#p/u/42/RgEDDpLxpWo
    [Greek “proskuneo” also similar]

    when you say “worship God”, do you intend more directly to mean “serve God”, or “speak highly of [glorify/praise] God”?

  • Paul Goodwin

    Fundametally I think of ‘worship’ as ‘worthship’ – ascribing worth to God. It is therefore the opposite to ‘idolatry’ – ascribing worth to an idol. Any form of god or idol in our lives is that which shapes our thinking , our desires, our motives and therefore our actions and behaviours. Therefore we ascribe worth to God anytime we think about him and his ways, or do anything motivated by him or enjoy anything as a gift from him, or approach any life situation equipped and minded to follow him. Apart from the effects of sin dragging us down into idloatry and self centredness, all of our lives – every moment of every day – could be lived as an expression of worship to God. And by God’s grace alone, one day will be.

  • Fred

    I think of worship as anything we do that brings glory to God.

  • Dan Allen

    Thanks for all the feedback. I think a lot of what you all said will be dealt with in the next couple of posts.

    Marshall, I think that worship may be expressed through both serving and praising God.

    Paul, I think the idea of ascribing worth has a lot to do with worship, and I like that you draw out that worship is an activity that incorporates all our lives, every moment of every day.

    Fred, I think bringing God glory has a lot to do with worship, although I may add that it has to do with intentionally bringing God glory, because God is glorified in all he does, even the condemnation of the unjust.

    I appreciate all your comments and look forward to your interaction in the next few posts!

    Dan

  • Marshall

    Marshall, I think that worship may be expressed through both serving and praising God.

    Paul, I think the idea of ascribing worth has a lot to do with worship, and I like that you draw out that worship is an activity that incorporates all our lives, every moment of every day.

    Fred, I think bringing God glory has a lot to do with worship, although I may add that it has to do with intentionally bringing God glory, because God is glorified in all he does, even the condemnation of the unjust.

    Dan, you seem early comfortable with the “everything” definition: everything we do & say to be an expression of our worship, as we love God with all our heart, mind and strength?

  • Maine Worship | The Assembling of the Church

    […] Here are the posts in Dan’s series: “Define Worship” […]

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