The Art of Worship

Sunday, March 04, 2012 Posted by Joline

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Who would have thought that a trip to England would bring about one of the biggest "A-HA" moments of my spiritual journey and growth?

We were there as part of a multi-cultural gospel choir - a beautiful sea of color taking on London and the surrounding areas with our sound. There was clapping. There was swaying. There was dancing.

There were questions and comments from some of the younger members of the choir as to why the English church members who were hosting us weren't "worshipping" when we sang for them . . . what? George and I were staying with an amazingly beautiful older couple who loved Jesus so very fiercely as we found out over our evening tea and biscuits. And yet, they didn't show this love demonstrably with hands raised or feet tapping. They simply smiled, and said, "Oh. That was lovely."

During this time, I happened to be reading through the One Year Bible. The Old Testament readings during my time in London had me learning about the building of the temple. I tried to stay focused reading about artisans and architects building this massive structure, but found myself wandering off to thoughts of "The building itself really doesn't matter. Such waste."

And then, I walked through the doors of St. Paul's Cathedral, looked up and almost hit the floor.

Worship. I was surrounded by worship.

Everything around me had been created by hands that had worshiped. Mosaics, stonework, tiles, stained glass . . . THIS ART WAS WORSHIP.

The attention to detail and craftsmanship could be equated to what clapping is to you, or raising hands is to another. This handiwork was worship in the same way that our seemingly stoic English hosts smiled and nodded along with our music.

It was then that I made a conscious choice never again to question whether someone was worshiping. For regardless of whether one uses their voice or their silence, a microphone or a chisel, a pulpit or a pen - who was I to ever comment on the state of one's heart while they stood or sat before the Father?

I once had a person tell me that I didn't worship while leading music at our previous church. He accused me of simply "emoting".

I didn't give him the respect of an answer.

For, in my heart, I was picturing a painting that I first saw in St. Paul's. This painting has remained my visual for years now.

Jesus, knocking on my heart. And I respond.

With worship.

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