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By Mike Mccauley on
Mike Mccauley
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Jun 08 in Musings
Worship is ascribing ultimate worth. Worship is serving God.  Worship is telling the truth: God is God and we are not. Worship is acknowledging the power, compassion and presence of God. Worship is paying attention to God. Eugene Peterson writes “Worship is the strategy by which we interrupt our preoccupation with ourselves…and attend to the presence of God.”
Worship happens in every corner of our lives. It also happens on Sunday morning. How do we prepare ourselves for something so momentous? What is our mindset in walking into the chapel or the sanctuary? In our “please entertain me” culture, I fear that Christians are in danger of sliding down the slippery slope of making worship merely an event that happens on Sunday. I’m afraid that our deepest expectation is that we will be well entertained and rewarded for getting up early on a weekend. 

But notice that none of my above definitions of worship have much to do with...US. Always, worship is about God. Soren Kierkegaard, the 19th century Danish philosopher developed a famous analogy to help us think about worship. He said to imagine worship as a theater performance. That should be easy for us to do in Hollywood, right?  Our tendency is to think that the stage is up at the front of the church, that the actors are the people engaged in leading worship, and the audience is the congregation. But Kierkegaard said “No! you’ve got it all wrong!  The sanctuary is the stage, and the entire congregation (including worship leaders) are the actors, and the audience (recipient) is God!” The goal is bringing God delight, serving God, acknowledging God. Worship is about God.   

Right now in our community at Hollywood Presbyterian, there is a lot of conversation and some angst about the new worship service and schedule for this fall. It’s okay. It will all shake out. Hollywood Pres has made such changes before. As I’ve said in many venues, change is difficult. It just is. This one will require us as a community to make some sacrifices, try some new things and change our routine. The potential rewards are huge: a deeper sense of community, more children learning how to worship, more opportunity to know each other, the chance to be led in new ways and styles, more opportunity for spiritual growth, being connected as an intergenerational family. The critical element is that we remember we are coming to worship God- Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

A mentor of mine once said the greatest privilege he ever had was to sometimes stand in front of his church community and say these words:  Come, let us worship God together.  Yes. Today. Every day. And Sunday.
                See you soon,
                                    Pastor Dan

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