by Larry Eddings

What a great and awesome blessing it is to gather with other people of Faith to worship him who is the Lord of Life and the Savior of our Souls.  Even upon entering the place that has been designated for worship – whether in a cathedral or sanctuary, a simple room or under a tree beside the lake, there is a sense of divine Presence.  Hearts become attuned to the heart of God in preparation for a time of lifting up our voices as we sing praises, offer our tithes and gifts, kneel at his holy altar and hear the life-transforming Word proclaimed.
Little wonder that the Word of God instructs us:  “Let us not give up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”  Hebrews 10:25
Worship revitalizes our faith, feeds our spirits, strengthens our resolve and serves to encourage us as we face the various issues of life around us beyond the confines of the venue in which we gather.
Sometimes people can be heard to say, upon leaving a time of worship, “Wasn’t that a great worship service this morning?”  Others join in, “Yes, couldn’t you just feel the Spirit?”  Still others, “And the worship songs, weren’t they beautiful?  The worship team did an outstanding job.”  And others, “Yes, and Pastor preached a powerful message.”  Occasionally, one is heard to say, “Well, I wasn’t fed this morning.  I didn’t get anything out of it!”
Over all, though, the worshippers are pleased with the service and are glad that they came, for it made them feel so good and gave them some direction for the new week.  A video of the service is then posted on Face Book or Instagram, “what a great service of worship we had at Church of the Happy Hour this morning,” with a backdrop of changing light colors and occasional wisps of artificial fog to add to the visual tantalization.  Apparently it serves to add to the mystical, ethereal and supernatural atmosphere of the event, called worship.
Ultimately, however, the question must be asked, “Was God pleased with the worship this morning?  Was God impressed with the program?  Was the focus of the worship on the “Great and Glorious” God of Creation or the “Looking for Something to Make Me Feel Good” Human Heart.  Did God sense that the hearts of the people were in tune with his heart?  Did the singing and the sharing and the speaking bring honor and praise and glory and joy to the Heart of the One who was being worshipped?  After all, isn’t worship all about God?
When the hosts of heaven worship, they break forth with full attention on the One who is worthy of all worship:  “They fell down on their faces before the throne, saying “Amen! Praise and Glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever.  Amen!” [Revelation 7:11, 12]
Perhaps when we gather for worship and realize that we stand in the very presence of THAT God, we may emulate the heavenly hosts and fall down on our faces with repentant and contrite hearts, realizing in whose Presence we are privileged to be and the condition of the lives that we bring into worship!
“Lord God, teach us how to worship. Jesus said that you are seeking people who will worship you in Spirit and in Truth.  Show us how to do that so that it will bring joy to your heart here, and prepare us to then join with the hosts of heaven to worship you eternally.  Amen.”