“Love is a habit… We learn to love… not primarily by acquiring information about what we should love but rather through practices that form the habits of how we love.” James K.A. Smith
When you choose to gather in worship it reorients your heart towards God.
God is the object of our worship and God does the work of worship. Worship is top-down, not bottom-up.
And what God works in worship is the transformation of our minds. He moves us forward in our commitment to offer our bodies as living sacrifices. This begins with His Spirit and is perpetuated in covenant community.
We learn to worship God through revelation and in community. Our faith community plays an important role in how we choose to express our affections to God. It’s where we learn to put into practice living out our response to God’s initiation of mercy and grace.
God is always pursuing you. Pursue Him in your worship.
This leads me to share another reason Why You Need to Gather for Worship.
- To express your love for God.
You cannot repress your love for God, you need to express it.
Your love for God is placed in your heart by His Spirit. It is a burning desire that can be described as a pressure cooker. God wants praise to burst out from within you. Worship is evidence of your inward change. It is evidence of His love growing inside you. It’s like “fire in your bones.” Let it out.
There are many ways that the church can express its love for God when it is gathered. When we receive communion together we are remembering Jesus’ loving sacrifice. We consider the body of Christ, the church, and how we are all connected by faith, to the event of the cross.
For many churches in my faith tradition it is a quiet and reflective time. Communion can be described as introspective.
My favorite way to take communion is whenever we gather at the front of the worship center. On these occasions it’s noisy. Sometimes its loud. That’s ok because I think worship should be noisy. Joyfully noisy! It should be loud. Let it out loud.
“Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens! Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness! Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals!” Psalm 150:1-6
Psalm 150 is loud.
I know what some of you may be thinking. “It can be loud as long as it is appropriately loud.” And we’ve all got an opinion of what that means. If someone gets too boisterous when they express their love for God, they may be viewed as insincere and “showy.”
You may not want to get loud.
Interestingly enough, we rarely make these connections for boisterous sports fans. Whooping, hollering, cheering, standing and shouting, clapping, whistling, and clanging cowbells (Mississippi State) are all acceptable for sincere fans who genuinely love their team. The louder you are the more passionate and loyal a fan you are perceived to be.
Have you ever sat in the back row of worship service and sang “too loud”? (Typically, less people sing in the back rows, or they sing softly.) You may get some strange looks or you may get complimented – if not for your volume, for your passion and spirited expressiveness.
Each week get in the middle of boisterous, loud, joyful worshipers who are all together expressing their love for God.
Sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Stand up, clap and shout and make a joyful noise.
You may not want to do corporate worship in that way, but you can still choose to be expressive. Find your way to get loud.
There is nothing wrong with loud love.
At a sporting event one fan base cheers to drown out the visiting team’s cheers. Usually the home team’s fans are louder.
The gathered church has home field advantage.
Expressing our love for God in our worship gatherings drowns out the worship for the world.
You need to worship out loud. You need to meet with people who worship out loud.
You may be an introvert. That’s ok. You only need to be expressive.