READ: Psalm 47.1 NLT
'Come, everyone! Clap your hands! Shout to God with joyful praise!'
I once went to visit some friends who were doing mission work in Southern Pakistan close to the Sind desert. It was very, very hot. I remember how keen they were to prevent any draughts because the searing heat was too much to bear, even through the smallest gaps. On Sunday I went to their mud hut church and, as I entered, I was given a percussion instrument to play. I wasn’t asked if I wanted one or if I had any musical gifts! Everyone was given an instrument. The service that followed was in a language that I didn’t know at all but it really didn’t matter because it was clear that we were worshipping the Lord and I was totally involved in it with my newly acquired drum.
The psalms very often encourage everyone to get involved in worship. Whatever our gifts, background or mood we all need to worship God. Whatever kind of worship we are used to, whether it is based on a prepared liturgy or is free and charismatic, there can be a danger that the worship can be seen as a performance. The people at the front are the performers and everybody else watches. This is not what God wants. He wants us all to be involved and to bang our drums (or equivalent!) as an act of united worship. As we worship him together, the church is strengthened and enabled to be the kind of loving, caring, united community that God wants it to be, and the result, hopefully, is that even more people will want to worship him.
Worship is a rich and wonderful experience but, essentially, we are doing two things. Firstly, we are declaring who God is. We are recognising that he made us and that he is all-powerful, all-loving and all-knowing. He is worthy of the absolute best that we can bring to him. Secondly, we are acknowledging who we are. We are totally dependent on him. Without his strength, love and wisdom we are lost. That’s why we all need to clap hands, bang our drums and shout out our praise to him.
QUESTIONS: What does worship mean to you personally?
PRAYER: Lord God, I thank you for the amazing privilege of worshipping you. Amen