46: Defining Worship

In this episode John and Gregg discuss Christian worship.  Gregg relates a discussion on worship he recently participated in.  Many of the participants were focused on the problems of hyper-subjectivity (where I equate my perceptions with reality and deem my feelings to be 100% accurate).

Yet we must likewise be careful not to say that “what I like” or “what works for me” is unimportant.  Further, as the notion of worship continued to broaden the discussion moved towards seeing worship as all-encompassing.  Yet Gregg objects: as Christians we are not supposed to be just worshipers of God. Rather, our identity and the kernel of our being is found in rightly relating to God, which is: loving God entirely (and out of that, loving ourselves rightly and loving others likewise).

So where John wonders if we can “worship God by folding our laundry,” Gregg is not sure what this means.  And where some discussion participants equated worship with humbling oneself before God, their view of God was solely as sovereign.  But how is such a notion effected when we consider that God is also parent?

Instead, Gregg defines worship as an intentional and creative expression arising from reflecting on one’s relationship with God, and upon others’ relationship with God (where they have shared some of the content and nature of that relationship with me).

So while being concerned about a hyper-subjective approach to experience, he is likewise concerned when what I think or feel or what “works for me” is minimized or even eliminated.  This fails to consider that one’s senses, intellect, imagination, and experiences are all involved in how we interact with / make sense of / establish commitments with the world around us.

So human being both have the need to be “de-centered” and yet involved and valuable (rather than dissolved).  Ultimately, worship is one example of how my love relationship with God is distinct from what I have with all others, while noting that my love relationship with God is also deeply related to my human love relationships.

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