Worshipping vs Watching

Hey Faith Family!

I had a mentor a few years back who often said, “I can worship at any time in any way, can you?” I remember thinking to myself, “I wonder if that’s true of me?” Well, many of us have all ventured into a new way of worshipping – online. On Easter Sunday (of all days), I found myself worshipping at home for the first time in my life and I learned a few things about me that I want to share with you.

In the Bible, worship happens in so many different places. It happens at rock piles. It happens at big oak trees. It happens on mountain tops. So, I guess it really isn’t that strange for worship to be happening in our living rooms. But for many of us who are used to worshipping in a church building on a Sunday morning, it is strange. It is a shift. It is different.

I would ask you to consider a few traps that I found myself falling into as I began to worship right there in my living room – on the couch.

First, recognize the media. Whether you are connecting via a laptop, a tablet, a phone, or even a smart TV, those are items that have primarily served other purposes in our lives. Those are work tools. Those are social tools. Those are entertainment tools. And for many of us (all of a sudden,) they are now the media for worship. In the Burgess family home, we connected our “not so smart” TV to a laptop through an HDMI cable. Simple, right? The sound and picture were both perfect. But I personally found it hard to shift from “watching” to “worshipping” on the very device I use to watch the evening news each night!

So how do we achieve that which the psalmist declares in Psalm 29, “Ascribe to the LORD the glory of his name, worship the LORD in holy splendor” as we are lounging on our living room sofas?

Well, perhaps we should all put some thought into not just watching – not just turning it on – but preparing ourselves in a posture of worship. Set the worship moment apart. This is simple. Consider lighting a candle as a symbol of the presence of God. Think that through. If you truly are in the presence of God, how would you sit? How would you act? How would you focus? How would you be? It’s easy to just watch. We are trained to passively watch through the many windows we have into our world. Passively watching something doesn’t require passion or courage. I think worship requires both. Church has always been different than “just watching” something. We are “participating” in something. We are active participants worshipping God – literally living into the Kingdom of God to come!

So, I end by asking you the question my mentor posed to me many years ago, “can you worship at any time in any way?” I said worship – not just watch. Is there a difference between those two things for you? Think about it…