In the last blog I wrote, I was looking forward to the year ahead, to the changes it would be great to see and the impact we could have on the world- how ‘doing justice’ could make a real difference to our societies. And as I’ve looked further at moving forward and looking ahead, it’s become more apparent that worship and justice are completely intertwined – that our true worship leads to justice.
This whole area has been something that has really challenged me recently as I’ve looked at it more and more. What exactly is our worship and what does this look like in everyday life? (Now, confession time…not all the ideas in this blog are mine; a lot come from Tim Keller, and other bits from other people, but hopefully I can shed a little bit of new light on some of it!)
Often when I think of worship I think of Sunday mornings and of singing songs. There is nothing wrong in this. Sunday morning singing is worship and expressing our love for God in this way is very necessary. However, there are a few things here that can be overlooked.
Firstly, we forget that Sunday mornings don’t = worship. That going to church doesn’t = worship. Here on Soul61 we are incredibly lucky that, as a group, we can meet together a number of times a week and spend time in sung worship, in specific acts of devotion. We meet together on Sundays at Church and then at teaching on a Tuesday and Thursday and fairly often we will have other events on in the evenings that will involve worship sessions.
This is a massive privilege and it’s really great to be a part of and actually acts as a real challenge. Every time we meet together and someone stands at the front with a guitar in hand we have to chose to worship- it may not be my favourite song, we may have sung it at every worship session over the past week but I have to, and we all have to, make a choice, out of our love for Jesus to stand and worship him.
And secondly, we must remember that worship doesn’t end when the guitar is put down- it doesn’t just get put back in its box until next Sunday. Instead, it should be taking over our entire lives, affecting not just our Sundays but our Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays… and the rest of our weeks… the rest of our lives.
Joshua 24:14 says this:
‘So now: Fear God. Worship him in total commitment. Get rid of the gods your ancestors worshiped… you, worship God.’ (The Message)
We are called to worship God in ‘total commitment’- that worshiping him is our main aim, our top focus and our highest priority.
The way we act at school should reflect our love for Jesus in the same way as our songs to him reflect our love for him.
The way we don’t join in with a group of bullies, or the way we don’t ignore the person on their own in the common room, the way we spend our money, the places we choose to shop and the items we choose to buy.
This is worship and this is justice.
This is how we live out our lives of worship and make a difference in the world.