One Facebook status of a Christian on religion reads, “Nobody can question me about my relationship with Christ. What we have between us is of no concern to others.” Another one reads, “It is none of your business.” Yet another one reads “It is very personal as I have accepted Jesus as my personal Savior.” Have you ever wondered if our life style means anything to others? Recently I asked a group of young people to define worship. Majority of them said that worship is singing songs and praying to God. Some said worship happens when we have good thoughts about God, especially during their quiet time. It is common to hear “Let us start our worship…” or “Let us begin our worship…” Does worship actually start and end at a certain time? When does it start and when does it end? The attitude of many Christians seem to portray that worship starts at a particular time on a Sunday and ends once the service is over, precisely after the singing of the 3-fold Amen. According to Wikipedia, “In Christianity, worship is the central act of Christian identity, the purpose of which is to ascribe honor or worth to God.” (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_worship) In the Larger Catechism we are told “Man’s chief and highest end is to glorify God, and fully enjoy Him forever.” Worship is the occupation of eternity. Worship then, is everything we do and not just on a Sunday. It is very easy to get into the worship mode on a Sunday within the confines of a building and in the presence of other believers while singing or praying. But the difficulty comes when we move out of the comforts of a church; the traffic, the bills, the kids, the in-laws, the groceries, work, projects, exams and the list goes on.
How do we worship God in everything we do then? One way is through Practicing the Presence of God in our daily tasks. This is a mindset (which comes from Brother Lawrence, a monk who lived 500 years ago) where we look at everything we do to the glory of God – whether that be filing paper work, attending school, driving our cars, taking a bus, buying groceries, supervising people, or watching our kids play the piano, soccer or their gadgets. Every act is an act of worship. Colossians 3:23 says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” While it is possible to experience transformation in corporate worship and in personal worship, many of our significant transformational moments can only happen in the crucible of our everyday, ordinary lives. It is within the context of home, work, school, relationships, marketplace, leisure, and transit that we find the raw material for becoming Christ-like. Sometimes God miraculously works quickly; at other times, more slowly. The common denominator is a will wholly submitted to God. The attitude of offering our lives to God as living sacrifices within the events of the everyday ordinary, invites the presence of God to transform powerfully, both ourselves and our situations.
If worship is everything I do, does it matter what I do on other weekdays?
If everything I do is for God’s glory, does it matter what I wear?
It has been said that young people think twice about certain institutions if the students are dressed too casually. They say that the way the students dress up conveys a message about the institution. If the students are dressed smartly, they conclude that the institution is good and reputable, good enough for students to show respect and dress up. On the other hand, if the students of certain institutions are dressed too casually, they come to a conclusion that the institution is not so good. Likewise, there is a saying that “Out of 100 men, one will read the Bible. The other 99 will read the Christian.”
As we come to church to attend worship services on Sundays, others are watching us. Our children, our neighbors, our friends, our non-believing family members and a lot of people belonging to other faith are watching. Could it be that as one contemporary observer puts it, “Too many of us today have got it backwards: we worship our work, work at our play, and play at our worship”?
“Give unto the LORD the glory due his name,” says the psalmist; “worship the LORD in the beauty of his holiness” (Ps. 29:2). Surely the “holiness” of our public worship should influence how we dress for the occasion. There is nothing remotely “casual” about the worship taking place in heaven, where appropriate clothing seems to matter (Rev. 7:9–12). What internal disposition are we revealing when we dress no differently for church than we do for a trip to the mall or hanging out with friends around a barbeque grill? Could it be that our casual dress, chosen merely for our own comfort and convenience (that which “cost me nothing”), is a reflection of an equally casual, can’t-be-bothered attitude toward worship itself? Can Christians who gather for worship afford to ignore what their church attire may be saying to those around them? “Let each of you look not only to his own interests,” says the apostle, “but also to the interests of others” (Phil. 2:3–4, ESV). We are to “love one another with brotherly affection,” outdoing one another “in showing honor” (Rom. 12:10). Does our choice of clothing communicate to others that this gathering is an important occasion, thereby encouraging them to see it as important as well? Or does it send them in the opposite direction? “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2.9
Ms Loliro Sani
March 15, 2015