We probably think of many things – the piano, organ, drum, guitars – and many other activities like singing, prayers, sermon, offerings etc. Thus, our mind is very often preoccupied in performing and assessing these, and hopefully along the way we get a good sermon that will satisfy our hungry souls.
When all is said and done, if we have planned and executed all the necessary activities well and have had a good sermon, does this mean that I had a good worship session and I am worshipping God?
Worship is about God alone.
Nothing on this earth and in this universe is worthy of our worship, except for God. However, humans are prone to creating idols for worship, and we can see this from the Old and New Testament accounts. From the beginning, God has guided us away from this destructive path through the Ten Commandments: “You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.” (Exodus 20:3-4, NIV)
Worship is God-centered.
There should be no other gods in our lives. As we bow down and worship Him every week, we should examine ourselves about who the real ‘God’ in our life is, and whether God alone is our subject of worship.
I think the greatest idol mankind has created for himself is ‘himself’. Thomas Merton in his book, Water of Siloe, wrote: “None of us is what he thinks he is, or what other people think he is, still less what his passport says he is. Many of us think, no doubt, that we are what we would like to be. And it is fortunate for most of us that we are mistaken. We do not generally know what is good for us. That is because, in St. Bernard’s language, our true personality has been concealed under the ‘disguise’ of a false self, the ego whom we tend to worship in place of God. ”
A true worshipper will see himself more clearly, and one day will worship God with his true self.
When the Samaritan woman at the well asked about places of worship, Jesus replied, “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshippers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshippers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshippers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” (John 4:23-24, NIV)
“And the truth will set [us] free.” (John 8:32)
The Rev Dr Gregory Goh
was elected President of the Chinese Annual Conference (CAC) in 2016 for the quadrennium. He joined the CAC in 1992 and has since served for 24 years. He is married to Irene Lim, a full-time teacher, and they have two daughters and a son.
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