During Gatherings, we devote a lot of time to singing together and worshipping God. Have you ever wondered why we invest so much time this way? Why spend a large portion of our time singing songs? The answer to this question can be found by looking at who God is. Once we understand who He is, we can understand why worshipping Him every week as a family is so vital.
1. Worship as rebellion
When we sing together, we are intentionally reminding ourselves of truths that say, “Jesus is King; all these other things in my life are not. My career, my family, my wallet, my sex life, and my passions can’t compare to who Jesus is.” The world constantly barrages us with what we should worship through music, TV, movies, and social media. But worship is a defiant act of rebellion against those forces. That’s why we sing these songs. Because we all are tempted to worship anything that is not God, we need reminders constantly. So every Sunday, we worship to remind ourselves that He alone is worthy of our worship. He alone is worthy of our praise. He alone is worthy of our adoration. He alone is worthy of our worship.
2. Worship as reorienting
Although we might intellectually know these truths about God, we don’t always feel that way. Our devotion often wavers based on our circumstances or emotions. Worshipping God through song is one way we fight back against our unbelief and reorient ourselves back to Him. When we sing we are saying, “My feelings may not be all there and I’m having a hard time singing this song but I don’t care. Jesus is Lord no matter how I feel.” This was the Psalmist plea in Psalms 42-43. He both acknowledges how he feels and then reorients himself back to God, “Why are you so downcast O my soul? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him, my salvation and my God.”
3. Worship as a reminder to others
Here’s part of what makes corporate singing set apart from just singing in your car: people need to hear you sing. They need to know Jesus is King over their feelings and their passions too. When you sing at the Gathering, even if it’s wildly out of tune, you’re telling others, “Join me in this.” It’s a way of encouraging others and being missional by inviting others into the goodness of God every time you sing. That’s why the Psalmist can say in Psalm 34:3, “Oh magnify the LORD with me, let us exalt his name together!”
So next time you walk into a Gathering, focus on the words we’re singing. These words are meant to remind you how great your Savior is; so invite and expect the Spirit to change your heart and the people around you.
What keeps you from worshipping whole-heartedly during a Gathering?
How can you ready your heart for worship the next time you attend a Gathering?
This article is based on the sermon “He is Worthy Part I” by Tim Olson on June 23, 2019.