Let Us Worship…

In my high school & college days I worked at a movie theater in my hometown.  

Every showtime would introduce the feature presentation with a commercial for the theater, and every commercial would invite the guest to do the same thing:

“Sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.”

Soon, the light would dim, the music would get louder, and the movie would begin.

Recently, I was reflecting with a member of our worship team and we began to discuss the tone of a worship service.  We talked about what it was, what it could be, and what it ought to be.

We both noted that there is a temptation in churches today to give the same invitation that movie theaters still give today,

“Welcome to “So & So” Church!  We are so glad you are here.  Now sit back, relax, and enjoy the show!”

In many cases, churches also dim the lights, turn up the sound, and start the show.

As we were talking about that, we began to wonder if that was what God wanted from his people when they gather to worship?

As I pondered this question, I found Psalm 95:

O come, let us sing for joy to the Lord,

Let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation.

Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving,

Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.”  (. 1-2)


“Come, let us worship and bow down,

Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.” (v. 6)

So what does this passage say about how we worship?

1.  We are called to sing; not listen.

The invitation we see in this psalm is an invitation to sing.  The church was not invited to listen to the professional singers, but to sing themselves.  Yes, we live in an age where we can give a few singers microphones that will allow their voices to fill a room, but God calls the whole congregation to join in the singing so that praises to Him will fill the room, the neighborhood, the city, even the entire globe.  It does not matter if an individual is a skilled musician or incapable of holding a tune; what matters is that God’s people lift up praises to God in unity!

2.  We are called to respond; not receive.

The passage also calls the congregation to bow with thanksgiving, kneel, and even shout to “the rock of our salvation”.  These are calls to respond to God in the midst of corporate worship.  It is right and good for the people of God to shout words of praise, thanksgiving, and adoration to their Maker as the Word of God washes over them.  He is NOT calling us to be lumps on a pew anxiously waiting for the service to be over.  Instead, we ought to think, meditate, and then respond to the Word of God through affirmation, and a change in our behavior.

3.  We are called to worship; not be entertained

It is interesting to note that every verb in these passages is an active verb; not a single one of them are passive.  Nowhere did God call the people to sit back and take in anything.  Instead, they were called to “do”.  The people gathered to worship, and to worship through songs, shouts, prayers of thanksgiving, and acts of submission to the God they loved & trusted.  Worship, whether personal or corporate, should be the active response of the worshiper to God.  Anything else falls short of what God intended it to be.

If you take the time to read the rest of the psalm, you will discover that every invitation to worship God is followed with a list of reasons why.  Verse 3 reads, “For the Lord is a great God and a great King above all gods.”  This is what we need to understand:  the only reasonable response to knowing God is worship.

He is just so great, so wonderful, so powerful, so gracious, so merciful, and so loving.  If you know God, if you have experienced Him through His Word, then you just have to worship.  You will want to worship Him, and no substitute will do.

So get to know the Lord in whom you have placed your trust.  Read His Word, learn who He says He is.  Then join us as we worship the God who loves us, and saved us by sending us salvation through Christ Jesus!