What does it mean to “worship God”? It may mean many things, but especially in Advent it means an “expectation of a encounter with God.” By that I mean that any time we enter the sanctuary at our church, we should do so in full expectation that we will encounter and relate to God through His Word, songs and music, prayer, and quiet listening.
God, according to Jesus, wants most of all a loving relationship with the people that he has created. He doesn’t want rituals; He doesn’t want sacrifices; He doesn’t care about all the peripheral “stuff” such as type of music, drums or pipe organ, etc. that often are parts of what we call a “worship service” and argue about). What God wants, I am sure, is a loving relationship with each of us.
So as we enter the sanctuary this Christmas Season may we put aside expectations of being entertained and of seeing friends and catching up on the latest gossip, or judging how good the minister’s sermon is, etc. and enter the sanctuary with a deep expectation that we will encounter a God who loves us and wants us to love Him in return. To reveal that to us is the reason for Jesus’ life and ministry that we celebrate the advent of during this season.
We only worship when we and God mutually touch our minds and hearts. If we don’t expect that to happen, it surely won’t happen. And both we and God will be disappointed if it doesn’t happen.
“O come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Marker! For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture and the sheep of his hand.” (Psalm 95:6-7)