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Satisfying Our Need for Worship

O for a thousand tongues to sing my Great Redeemer’s praise!
The glory of my God and King,
The triumphs of His grace!

Charles Wesley’s classic hymn, which he wrote in 1739, reportedly to commemorate the first year of his conversion, expresses our desire to fully worship our savior Jesus Christ. I especially like the way the hymn writer conveys a desires to add 999 more people’s tongues to his own praises of God’s amazing grace! How about you?

Witnessing an authentic worship experience, one may notice others expressing themselves the way a sports fan experiences their favorite team’s big win:

  • Spontaneous, out-of-control high-fives
  • Hands clapping, and some raised straight up in the air.
  • Jumping up and down for the thrill of victory over defeat
  • Heads bowed in humble adoration, including tears of joy

Well, about the tears, I’m here to confess: I almost always cry in worship. I’m glad the lights are kept a little low in our sanctuary.

Better is one day in Your courts, better is one day in Your house, better is one day in Your courts, than thousands elsewhere… ‘Better is One Day’ based on Psalm 84

Here’s a marvelous choir’s example, harmonized beautifully. Turn it up, if you so desire.

Back to the sporting events analogy, other fans nearby often feel the same way we do. But in worship to God, the believer’s response is not dependent on a “win or lose” mentality of game-play. Victory, though. Oh, Yes! A worshiper is often acutely aware of Jesus’ victory over death and the grave. The complete forgiveness one feels from their past sinfulness, and the freedom to express that joy can come together in a spirited dance. Or maybe one is simply–but deeply–touched by the mere presence of the Holy Spirit, the presence of God, where the heart and mind are authentically involved in joining with the angels who worship 24/7.

In private or in corporate worship, God the Father’s powerful love becomes our focus. But I’ve come to realize, worship is so individual, I never expect any of my fellow believers to worship the same way I do. Again, I often appreciate the low lighting of my church sanctuary.

Christmastime can bring the heights and the depths of our emotions. Reliving the memories of times past, loved ones who aren’t here to join us, the season can be most difficult. And yet, we bask in the consistency of the Christmas Story. No matter what walk of life one finds themselves in: custodian, bus driver, factory worker, banker, fisherman, teacher, parent, prisoner or president, we can all take hold of the spirit that takes a hold of the Salvation Army bell-ringer:

Herald the news: even the sound of change clinking into a red bucket can set the tone for worship. Christ came for all of us. And when ones heart is set for worship, not a thing gets in the way.

And the angels sing in an unending hymn, ‘Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty!

There are also those who, even though they doubt the fullness–the deity–of Christ, they wish it so. They wish for hope, like wishing on a star. Like children, we are prone to wish for things, and even throw in a bargaining chip: “Lord, if you’re for real, make sure ______ is cured of their disease and I’ll believe.” Or, like the give-me mentality, Christmas can bring on wishful thinking. “God, tell Santa to bring me a _____.” Despite our deal-making, God loves us unconditionally.

When Charles Wesley lay ill for an extended period of time, he figured his death would soon be the result. Wesley had a close encounter with the living God, who spoke into his heart and mind, and told him to rise up and be healed. When the healing came, praise and worship were the natural responses. By some accounts, the writer is known for having penned 6500 hymns.

He speaks and listening to His voice, new life the dead receive; the mournful broken hearts receive; the humble poor believe.

David, in Psalm 65, describes worship as an expression prompted by God Himself, the Creator of the universe longing for His creation to be satisfied in a way no earthly experience can. David uses a powerful word choice in reference to the LORD: He is our “confidence.”

By awesome deeds in righteousness You will answer us,
     O God of our salvation,
     You who are the confidence of all the ends of the earth,
     And of the far-off seas;
Who established the mountains by His strength,
     Being clothed with power;
You who still the noise of the seas,
     The noise of their waves,
     And the tumult of the peoples.
~Psalm 65:5-7 {NKJV}

Beginning this Advent season, it is my prayer:

  • For our worship to come more fully alive
  • For our worship to match the hope that Christ has given us.
  • For our worship to prompt change where needed, by the power of the Holy Spirit
  • For our worship to be pleasing to God
  • For our worship to carry with it the confidence we have in Christ

Come! Let us worship the King!

 

Grace & Such strives to advance Christian growth among women. While we believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God, we also recognize human interpretations are imperfect. Grace & Such encourages our readers to open their Bibles, pray for wisdom and study for themselves what the Word says. For more about who we are, please visit the About Us page.
Sarah Robinson

Sarah Robinson

Sarah and her husband, Jim, have been married over 40 years. They are the parents of three daughters and the grandparents of three granddaughters. Sarah fills her days with Moms in Prayer, Bible study, writing, and joining her motivated walking group.
Sarah Robinson

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2 Comments

  1. Tammy Robinson on December 10, 2018 at 8:12 AM

    Great story and growing up Methodist I knew how talented Charles Wesley was-thanks for the reminder!! Again Sarah beautiful story and Praise the Lord his goodness 😊 Love Tammy

  2. Sarah Robinson on December 10, 2018 at 8:46 AM

    Love you too!
    Charles and John Wesley’s mother deserves the credit for her devotion to God and to the prayers she said over her children. I texted you the link from Christianity Today dot com. She was one of 25 children, and had 19 of her own, though several died in childhood. She was known for putting her apron over her head while praying; can’t you just picture it? Her rambunctious boys settling down once they saw her do this, maybe wondering when she was going to in-tent herself long enough to fix their supper!

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