Worship is Who You Are

Today is the last Sunday we will be in Aberdeen, UK, but I’m so glad it’s Sunday.  In many ways God has been preparing me for this trip.  Not in physical ways, but in spiritual ways.  Long before I knew anything of these travels I believe God was putting a special desire in my heart- a desire to burst this little bubble I was in and really know what it felt like to worship.

God’s been inviting me to hear Him…”Brittany, worship is not a place, it’s not a song, it’s not an event…It is who you are.”  And somewhere in my spirit I’ve been saying, “Yes, Lord, teach me to worship.”  Along with that came an ache to experience a type of worship I have never known.  As much as I enjoy worship back home at the church I’ve been going to for over a decade, somewhere I longed for more.  I knew there was more.  I’ve felt a deep burden to experience the limitless bounds of true worship that is done in spirit and in truth, not confined by anyone or anything.  I’ve been longing to experience worship that doesn’t leave you unchanged.

To give you a little perspective, let me tell you about the church I was raised in.  Let  me say first of all, that I have nothing bad to say about it!  The Churches of Christ do not have instruments, and we sing A Capella, which I have always thought is very pretty.  But along with that we have always been a conservative type of congregation.  Never been big hand-clappers or even hand-raisers, and don’t even mention dancing in the aisles!  I have never seen it!  I grew up shy and quiet, kept to myself and if I was honest maybe even felt uncomfortable with those who felt stirred to dance or fall to their knees in adoration of the Almighty God.

But somewhere inside of my quiet soul, I longed to worship God like that.

Last week we decided to try a church here in Aberdeen.  It’s less than a minute walking distance from our apartment and we looked them up online before we went to make sure we were in agreement about their beliefs.  I was so excited to be trying a different church from the one we go to back home.  It’s different here.  Here in the city, the churches sit right on the sidewalk usually on a busy street.  Many people walk and there is very little parking.  The doors to the churches stay open wide on Sunday and as you walk past you can hear voices of praise and worship spilling out into the street.  It beckons you to stop what you are doing and just come in.  I love that!  So different from our huge parking lots and huge church buildings back home.  I think with all that space, somewhere we miss the opportunity to just grab people off the street with our praises and invite them to experience Jesus with us.

We loved the church we visited and this Sunday we went again.  It’s called New Life International because much of the congregation is made up of people from all over the world.  Indians, African-Americans, Scots, and I’m sure many more of different nations were all there to celebrate Jesus.  I was excited by this as I longed to witness different kinds of worship and everyone being free to manifest their love for Christ in different ways.  It is a much smaller church, just a tiny fraction of the two services we have back home, but they were incredibly warm and inviting.  They had a small band and we were led in praise and worship for a good hour.  There was hardly a break between the songs, not really any scripture reading or prayers except what the Spirit was putting on the heart of someone to say.  Voices were raised loudly!  Even in this small church you could hardly hear your own voice among all the voices praising God!  Some people raised their hands and clapped their hands without hesitation.  There was a couple in front of me who found it necessary to dance to some songs too!  I felt myself loosening up among people who felt so free to express their love to God.  Between the songs, the band played softly waiting for the next song to begin and mingled with the chords and strings were whispers from the people praising God.  Perhaps they were praying or singing to themselves but it was hardly silent, and I wouldn’t have been surprised if maybe someone was speaking in tongues.  I know it sounds like an ancient mysterious thing, but it is simply a sign of being filled with the Spirit.  All those voices were truly captivating.  You could truly tell this was a Spirit led church and I was excited to be a part of it.

God is so good.  Every morning I try to read a little bit of the bible before everyone is up.  This morning I decided to flip over to 1 Corinthians and read a little bit about what was going on in the early church.  I was reading about the Lord’s Supper, and this verse in particular jumped out at me. “Therefore my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another.” 1 Cor 11:33.  I never knew that.  As far as my memory serves me when we take communion we’ve always just ate whenever it was passed to us, pretty informally.  God is good because I believe He gave me this verse for this morning.  I remembered it as we sat in church this morning and we were asked to wait until everyone got their little juice and cracker so we could all eat as one body- such a great demonstration of unity!

After this trip, I know I will never be the same.  It has taught me so much, and these past two weekends worshiping with the body of Christ has changed me.  I continue to be amazed and excited about God’s plans in and through me, and I know for sure that worshiping Him is a part of that.  I know it’s not about the songs or the place or the time it takes.  Worship is an attitude of heart when you wake up in the morning.  Worship is the way in which you live out your faith.  Worship is everything you were created to be.

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. FortheLoveOf
    Jul 15, 2012 @ 14:56:04

    I love this piece of writing! I am on the other end, worshipping God yet never been there, to be in unity with those who believe Him. A question I always have been wondering: do you just show up in a church? Don’t they ask questions before you’ve completely decided on which church to go to?

    Reply

    • thegentlehome
      Jul 15, 2012 @ 19:44:32

      Thank you! I am sad that you have never been in unity with other believers. I’m not sure where you are from, but we are blessed to be in a country that allows us to worship freely. I have never experienced a church asking us questions before we’ve placed membership. Yes, at the church we visited in Scotland we just showed up! We saw it nearby and walked in the open doors! Everyone was very welcoming. I know back home, at my church if you want to become a member they have a little class that you can go to to learn more about the church, what they believe and how it functions. They might also tell you some of their expectations of you as a member of the church (like different areas they may need help serving, but they would never force you to serve). I can’t speak for all churches, but “the church” is simply the body of Christ made up of believers all around the world, and all are welcome to come to Christ!

      Reply

  2. Walking The Rough Road
    Jul 16, 2012 @ 03:45:39

    Oh I agree. Dance is my favorite way to worship, along with chanting and music. Another favorite is working at the social ministries at my parents church. I love serving others and can’t wait till I can go back and volunteer again ( thought I am still enjoying the great service I am doing raising my son)! I am so glad you enjoyed the churches over there. Wonderful news hearing that you have busted out of your bubble. What an experience!

    Reply

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