Friday, January 05, 2007

worship Do you wanna know what verse my kid-brother (13 yo) counts as his favorite verse in the Bible? I'll give you a hint: it comes from today's chronological Bible reading. Sam's favorite Bible verse (if memory serves me right) is Job 1:21: "And he said, 'Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.'" (And this is coming from a kid who had all of his birthday presents and Christmas presents from 2005 stolen during multiple break-ins in the course of just a few months.) I, however, tend to favor the verse right before Sam's favorite: "Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped" (Job 1:20). In a matter of seconds--in the times it takes to utter a few sentences--the greatest man of all the people in the east tragically lost each and everyone of his ten children, 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, 500 female donkeys, and all but four of his very many servants. And what does the grief-stricken guy do? He worships. I love that word: w o r s h i p. It has become so much more meaningful to me living here in Taiwan. I have seen people worshiping great, big, HUGE idols, people worshiping tiny 12-inch tall idols, people worshiping old trees, people worshiping even the stumps of old dead trees, people worshiping stones and tablets, people worshiping ancestors (both those from generations long ago and those recently deceased). My idea of what is worship has changed so much since living here. Before it was only something I did with others. It was something I did in Church--it was singing songs and listening to sermons. What I did alone was "quite time" or "devotions." When I was a new believer, I did not know I could or should bow before God of All and worship. Don't get me wrong. I knew and could teach others and wax eloquent about the fact that our daily act of worship was how we lived our lives. And, I knew that worship is a coperate act we do together when we gather as believers. Don't get me wrong. I know that people in the western world "worship idols"--TV, football, blogging, movie stars and so on. I know that. But that is not what I am talking about. This is different. It is markedly different. We, in the West, do not kneel before our TVs and computers clasping our hands in front of us and make a choice to actually, physicaly bow before a graven image of the "god of entertainment." But, I have friends, coworkers, students, neighbors who do make the choice to kneel before an idol, clasp their hands around sticks of incense and worship. Watching them worship has changed the way I myself worship the Almighty. I cling to that word "worship" in the Bible...

Recent Comments