“Worship is a verb.” So said Dr. Robert Webber. How about some other biblical worship verbs?
Some folks only “attend” worship, as if it were something produced for their consumption. We have come to act. And these acts are necessarily corporate [that is, done in community] — like logs in a fire, we burn brighter when we get together. If you came this morning merely to “attend,” why not ask God to draw you a little closer to the fire? He will, if you ask. Bring a thankful heart and let God see it in action. Our thanksgiving brings great joy to the Father’s heart, and (not incidentally) to ours as well.
In his book about the Revelation of John entitled Reversed Thunder, Eugene Peterson also includes a list of verbs. This one contains many of the things we do in preparation for and as a result of worship:
Eugene Peterson concludes his list with this:
But the centering act is worship. Worship is the act of giving committed attention to the being and action of God. The Christian life is posited on the faith that God is in action. When we worship, it doesn’t look like we are doing much – and we aren’t. We are looking at what God is doing and orienting our action to the compass points of creation and covenant, judgement and salvation. (pp. 140-141)
Remember some of these verbs as you think about worship, as you join others to worship, and as you respond to that worship.
Quite a few of the verbs in the first list come from Psalm 95, a classic call to worship in the Hebrew Bible.
These quotes remind me of Kevin Harney who says in Seismic Shifts that “worship is not a spectator sport…” I quote that here.