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Clothed With Joy

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■ noun

1 the feeling or expression of reverence and adoration for a deity.

▶ religious rites and ceremonies.

2 great admiration or devotion.

3 (His/Your Worship) chiefly Brit. a title of respect used chiefly to or of a magistrate or mayor.

4 archaic honour given in recognition of merit.

■ verb (worships, worshipping, worshipped; US also worships, worshiping, worshiped)

1 show reverence and adoration for (a deity).

2 feel great admiration or devotion for.

—DERIVATIVES worshipper noun

—ORIGIN Old English weorthscipe ‘worthiness, acknowledgement of worth’ (see WORTH, -SHIP).

Dearly loved people of God,
Our Mission Statement says that we gather for passionate worship. We’ll deal with the passionate part later. What is worship?
When you worship, you . . .
1 show reverence and adoration for (a deity).
2 feel great admiration or devotion for.

—ORIGIN Old English weorthscipe ‘worthiness, acknowledgement of worth’ (see WORTH, -SHIP).

To worship God is to declare his worth.
If we do this passion, or with great emotion or forcefulness, it demonstrates how strongly we feel God’s worth.
We see that a moving experience underlies the psalmist’s strong emotions about God. There are good reasons for wanting to exalt the Lord. To boil it down, God has saved the psalmist’s life. The singer is so garteful, so amazed, so full of emotion that he invites all people to join him in praising God.
Psalm 30:4 NIV
Sing the praises of the Lord, you his faithful people; praise his holy name.
Uses God’s covenant name YHWH
God saved the psalmist’s life, see references
lifted me out of the depths
brought me up from the realm of the dead
made my royal mountain stand firm
turned wailing into dancing
When NT believers take up the psalmist’s celebration, we have further reason for giving thanks, further ways of understanding the ways our covenant God has saved our lives:
service - includes worship
Now, it’s helpful to remember that God wired each person a little differently. So, if this psalm was written by David or for David, we can understand that David might like to worship God by singing. He was an accomplished musician and composer.
Some of us can identify with David’s love for music. If we aren’t composers like he is, the invitation to sing the praises of the Lord sounds inviting. We’d love to participate in singing, choirs, solos, concerts. It sounds like fun.
For others, that isn’t as appealing. I’ve had people tell me that a heaven in which believers sing 24/7 doesn’t sound heavenly. It sounds like a form of torture. Surely there’s got to be other ways to worship God than singing!
I know people who love to cook. It’s an expression of love for them to set a delectable dish in front of people they love. If it’s a form of loving your neighbour, do you think cooking could be a way of worshipping God?
Like the artistry of music, could the artistry of mixing nutrition, tastes, textures, and colours together and serving it up in a delicious, aromatic, and pleasing fashion - could you offer it as worship to God?


Teach me, my God and King,

In all things thee to see,

And what I do in anything,

To do it as for thee:

[5] Not rudely, as a beast,

To run into an action;

But still to make thee prepossest,522

And give it his perfection.

A man that looks on glass,

[10] On it may stay his eye;

Or if he pleaseth, through it pass,

And then the heav’n espy.

All may of thee partake:

Nothing can be so mean,

[15] Which with his tincture523 (for thy sake)

Will not grow bright and clean.

A servant with this clause

Makes drudgery divine:

Who sweeps a room, as for thy laws,

[20] Makes that and th’ action fine.

This is the famous stone

That turneth all to gold:

For that which God doth touch524 and own

Cannot for less be told.

There was a 17th century pastor and poet named George Herbert who wrote about worshipping God. He claimed that to do one’s work for God is the elixir or philosopher’s stone that turns all work to gold.

Who sweeps a room, as for thy laws,

[20] Makes that and th’ action fine.

This is the famous stone

That turneth all to gold:

For that which God doth touch524 and own

Cannot for less be told.

I learned this as a teenager working at Camp Horizon - a camp for people with mental and physical disabilities. Bob was a camper who didn’t interact with others very much. When I met Bob a year later, his meds. were different and he was much more responsive. But the year I was his counsellor, Bob wasn’t very interactive.
So that verse in Matthew’s gospel , where Jesus teaches about service became important to me, as I took care of Bob:
Matthew 25:40 NIV
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
I determined I would serve Jesus by taking care of Bob to the best of my abilities.
I’m pretty sure the same can be done when you’re caring for children - your own or other people’s.
I’m pretty sure it’s possible to worship God by sweeping the shop floor or shovelling manure.
There’s good reason to worship God, as David reminds us. Many of us have had prayers answered, disasters averted. We’re gathered for passionate worship because a Christian worship service is a time of telling and retelling the story of how God has redeemed us and rescued us through Jesus’ death and resurrection. And so we answer God’s call through the psalmist to exalt the Lord and sing God’s praise.
But worshipping God doesn’t end when we exit the door. We continue to declare God’s praise and celebrate his worthiness to receive glory and honour and praise. In fact, every action we take can be offered to God in worship. And if there is something that you’re doing that you feel uncomfortable offering as an act of worship to God, well . . . maybe you need to reconsider participating in that activity, reading that website, or watching that movie.
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