Sunday, October 10, 2010

Worship is: Thanksgiving

Why does anyone worship? What is the purpose? Some say that even if there was nothing in this Christianity for them they would still choose to worship God. That sounds so great but it isn't even a conversation worth having. Why? Because there is something in it for us, for me, for my life now and after - a better way to live, a loving Savior and communion with his Spirit. In return we are only asked to be thankful. Thankfulness, a life of gratitude, is the only thing required of me. Why do we worship? Worship is not only the highest point of thanksgiving but in the end all giving of thanks is worship. I would say if I am not creating an atmosphere of thanksgiving in corporate worship there is no point to what I am doing and I should probably do everyone a favor and find another job.
In the story of the Ten Lepers (Luke 17:11-19) it is told that only one of the Lepers came back to thank Jesus for being healed. Christ doesn't say that the others are bad for not returning but he does commend the one who come back to give thanks. On a large scale, like how Christ healed all ten, God has already blessed the world. How do we respond? The returning Leper does five things that we especially associate with contemporary worship - he saw what had been done for him / Came to the Lord / praised Jesus with a loud voice / fell on his face infront of Christ / and thanked him. What if the tenth Leper had gone through the motions of the first four actions and never got around to actually saying thank you? He might as well not have come back at all.
Thanksgiving is a paradigm shift. It is saying that nothing else compares to the gift of Christ and that I am complete in that gift alone. Thankfulness is the pinnacle of losing my self - losing my life, goals, plans, dreams and placing them in the hands of God and giving thanks for where I am.
As it turns out worship is a bit harder than I first thought. But the reward of worship and the gift of thanksgiving are new eyes and a new heart in which to see and love myself, God and the world.