Our beloved Pastor Pam’s excellent sermon today asked the question, “Why do we worship?” I found it a very intriguing question. As I share a few thoughts of my own, I would love to hear some of yours as well.
There are a number of reasons that I worship. Sometimes I come to worship just for the sheer joy of it. That was certainly the case today. All the kids with their wonderful music. The day was just overflowing with joy. I come to participate in that joy and to let that joy wash over me.
I come to worship for the community—to be with those whom I love and who love me. I come to deepen relationships and journey with people through the ups and downs of life. I come because it’s where I belong.
Sometimes I come to worship because it is a spiritual discipline that I have learned and practiced for many years. There are Sundays where I wake up and don’t really want to come, but I do anyway, because I know it is good for me, and that afterwards I will be glad that I did. In that way, it is truly a “spiritual exercise.” Similarly, there are times that I don’t “feel” very close to God, but I come to worship “groping for God” as Pastor Pam described. I am full of questions, and I come not so much for answers, but to learn to “live the questions.” And to know that Jesus lives those questions with me.
I come to worship for God’s mercy. There are times that I have screwed up, hurt someone with my words or actions, or lack thereof. And I need forgiveness; I need mercy; I need a savior. I need to receive Jesus’ body and blood and be nourished and loved and forgiven so I can start over.
And finally, I come to worship in gratitude. Gratitude for a God that loves me so much he would give everything for me. I come to raise my hands and heart in praise to God for who God is and all God does. I come in gratitude for all of the above, the easy and the hard, the good and the bad. I am so thankful to have a place where I am accepted, welcomed, loved, and expected to do my best, but forgiven when I don’t. I am grateful for a place where I am truly known and I can truly know. I am grateful for YOU, all of you.
That’s why I worship. How about you?