During worship services in heaven, when God’s people assemble around the throne, I want to stand behind this colleague. I want to see his head turn and enjoy him enjoying the praise songs! I want to see the delight on his face as he watches the masses praise the Lord, because watching him watch us fed my soul for some reason.
BUT WAIT….I’m wrong.
In heaven, while we worship, my friend won’t be turned around facing the multitude of singers. He won’t be focused on the song or the ones who sing. And I won’t be staring at him, hoping to see him exercising his gift of listening to the music. He and I will be mesmerized by the King of Kings! All eyes will be on Jesus! The object of the music, not the singers, will receive all the attention and will be the reason for the grins on our faces. I’ll enjoy being with Jesus more than I enjoy watching my colleague listen to the songs.
Here are the 3 lessons I learned that day about worship—things I can’t learn by reading a book or attending a class.
1. There is value in corporate worship that cannot be duplicated in private worship, nor in second-hand experience through televised church services. Hearing others who physically surround me sing His praises facilitates my own worship, reminding me that I’m part of a large army and I’m not alone on the battlefield of daily discipleship. I know the grace-saturated stories of some folks I see around me, and my faith in God’s power is recharged.
2. Songs that best expedite worship of God have lyrics soaked with Bible doctrine and attributes of God. The Apostle’s Creed and songs like “How Great Thou Art” brim with substance. I’m not emotionally or physically moved merely by a melody; rather, I’m touched by truth that instills hope in my fragile heart.
3. The most important thing about worship is its object: the Person of God. In heaven our worship of Him will be less restricted because we won’t be distracted by sin or by what a person near us is wearing or by someone nearby with whom we’re embroiled in a conflict. We’ll be riveted on who He is and what He did for us.
The next time I hear someone mutter, “I didn’t get much out of the worship service today,” here’s how I’ll reply: “That’s okay. We weren’t worshipping you, anyway!” But after worship assemblies in heaven, there will no longer be a need for such a comeback.
In your pilgrimage, what have you learned about worship?