I don’t have much time so this will be a rather brief post but something struck me as odd today in preparation tonight for bible study and worship with the students here at Concord. I was doing a quick Google image search for “worship” images and I came across hundreds of images that seemed out of place. Image after image represented worship to be that which naturally orbits around buildings with stained-glass, praise bands with guitars and hip-worship leaders, and crowded rooms full of people singing with an intermittedly mixed individual with hands raised high in the air. Admittedly, when I performed the search I was thinking of images such as these: a prostrate worshiper bowed with face to the ground; tear-stained faces gazing upward in adoration; packed rooms with hands raised high into the atmosphere. But what struck me is the notion that none of these images – even those I had in my head – represent a biblical notion of worship. Worship of God encompasses more than a gathering with God as its central focus. It represents more than a style or a posture in that gathering. Worship is what we do in all of life. Worship is how we work. We worship in how we rest, how we talk, how we love. And yet none of these images are represented in the images that represent our definitions of worship. I find that interesting, and also sad, that our view of what worship is has become so narrow and rigid. Now, this isn’t to say that a Google search is an exhaustive, authoritative commentary on humanity or even the Church’s understanding of worship. But I do think it says something about our definition of what worship is and isn’t. And that is a thought worth examining.

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