Worship is said to come from the heart and it is between God and you, isn’t it? It is a one-on-one encounter with Him where you praise Him simply because He is worthy of it besides the fact that as His children it is His right to receive it from you. It is an outward expression of our love and gratitude for who He is, for enfolding us into His flock, for what He has done in our lives, for what He is able to do. There can be no single reason for praising Him. They number far too many. Worship is an experience that has to be personally felt by every one of His children and God desires that it be not tainted or influenced by external forces. It is a pure and blissful feeling that resides in every one of us as we are aware of ourselves being transformed into another world where only God and His people exist.
But just how pure is it in our society today?
As we read Matthew 2:1-12, we stumble upon a common passage in the Bible – the wise men from the east visit Jesus. They had travelled from far to meet the King of the Jews (Matthew 2:2). Now a manger is hardly a place where a king can be expected to reside in. But when they saw the star, they didn’t question the place. In fact, we read that “they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy” (Matthew 2:10).
When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Verse 11 says that “they entered the house… and worshiped Him” and presented very expensive gifts to Him. We need to understand that these were no ordinary men. They were learned men and they might have been quite rich (considering the gifts they brought).
But as they entered the manger and saw whom they needed to see (Jesus), they couldn’t care less about anything else. They didn’t care that they had travelled miles and miles to finally see Him in a poorly manger, they didn’t care that the place was smelly, dirty and noisy, they didn’t care that Mary and Joseph and the Child were not dressed in fine apparel and decked in jewellery as should be for a king. They didn’t keep any prejudices or preconceived notions in their mind. When they saw Jesus, everything else faded away. They understood their aim and that was all that mattered to them. Everything else was only secondary. There was nothing special about the place but it became a place worthy of worship because Jesus was present in there.
How do we measure our churches? Based on the number of people attending? Based on the quality of musical instruments being played? Based on the beauty and space of the hall? Based on the smartness of the pastor? Some people spend their entire life wobbling from one church to the other in search of the “perfect” church. And because they keep complaining and keep looking out for a utopian church, they miss numerous opportunities to enjoy the beauty of just sitting in His wonderful presence and worshiping Him.
It doesn’t really matter where you are or how many people there are. It doesn’t matter whether you are in a hall with 1000 other people or even if you are in a little hut with just two people, the only question you need to ask is “Is Jesus in there?” If so, prayers are bound to be answered, miracles are bound to happen; His peace and joy will be filled in each and every believer’s heart. If not, it is equivalent to a few people gathering in a hall, making some noise and going away. The purpose of worship (which is the ultimate purpose) will never be met.
Dear brothers and sisters, next time you enter your worship hall, stop analysing the hall or the singers or anything else. Enjoy His presence and worship Him for He deserves it.