We’ve explained how the main support system of a parasol, or umbrella, align with the main support system of our godly worship. The tube and handle being representative of the truth of God’s Word, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the ribs representing our attitude, or spirit, of worship. Then we explained how the added support of the runner and stretchers represented the need for the Holy Spirit to be apart of our daily worship, especially if our acts of worship were to be fully expanded over our lives. Now we’ll look at the canopy and how it represents our godly acts of worship.
So what is an “act of worship”? Well, let’s begin by looking at the meaning of our two main words, “act” and “worship.” An act can be a law, formal record, or statute. It can also be a formal division of a theatrical performance, play, or opera. Performers, themselves, can be called an “act,” but the definition that applies in this case, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is this:
act (noun) — the doing of a thing: deed // something done voluntarily // a state of real existence rather than possibility // the process of doing: action (caught in the act) // the sum of a person’s actions or effects that serve to create an impression or set an example (a hard act to follow) // a display of affected behavior: pretense // into an undertaking or situation as an active participant.
Worship can be a bit more complex in its explanation, but this is not the first time we have disclosed its definition on this blog site. We originally discussed its meaning in The Joshua Project, and have done so in other posts, as well. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary the word “worship” is defined as:
(noun) reverence, homage or honor paid to God // ceremonies or services expressing such reverence; public worship // an utterly devoted admiration for a person; ‘Your (His) worship’ (esp. Br.) a courtesy title used to (or of) certain magistrates, officials, etc.
By defining worship as a noun (person, place, thing, or idea), Merriam-Webster is indicating that the word has physical properties, parameters, substance — belonging.
But the word “worship” can also be defined another way. In the Life Application Study Bible (NIV) the word is defined as, “(verb) to express praise and devotion.” So this definition reveals activity . . . involvement . . . choices being made. Now let’s piece these various definitions together to reveal what an “act of worship” is.
Any time you or I focus our actions, or deeds, towards bringing glory, honor, and reverence to God, then we are participating in an act of worship. Though Philippians chapter two, verses ten and eleven, state that there will come a day when, “At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father,” right now our acts of worship are purely voluntary. They allow us to experience the various attributes of God in a very real way, and again, as we have discussed in The Joshua Project and other blogs, when we acknowledge God’s attributes and apply them to our lives, godly worship takes place.
Your acts of worship are a divine covering (canopy) meant to benefit you and to make a way for you to serve others. This enables us to set an example and make a godly impression upon this lost and dying world. Our acts of worship display devotion to our gracious Creator, and they affect our overall behavior; allowing us to become active participants in doting on, and glorifying, the triune God. And we can do this in so many ways, thus the multicolored canopy on our “parasol of true worship.”
We are called to worship God through corporate acts of worship (Hebrews 10:24-25), as well as individual acts of worship. When we gather corporately, we do so to proclaim our love and devotion to God the Father as one vast voice of humanity. We also gather as one spiritual body to honor the head of the Church — God the Son — Jesus Christ. And as we discussed in our previous article, this is made possible by the leading and teaching of the Holy Spirit.
These gatherings are made up of acts such as Bible study, fellowship, giving, greetings of peace, serving, singing, partaking of the Eucharist (a.k.a.: the Lord’s Table), prayer, and testimonials. All of these acts, if presented to God in spirit and truth, are acts of worship. Too often church leaders mistakingly refer to the musical portion of a corporate worship service as the “worship portion” of the liturgy. This is a false representation of what godly worship really is, as true worship is any act presented to God in a devoted and loving manner.
As individuals we can worship God by taking care of our families, friends, homes, and strangers. Yes, this means that no task is too insignificant, menial, or small. Changing a diaper, cleaning toilets, cooking dinner, maintaining your job, mowing the lawn, etc. can all be acts of worship. When we present an action before our Creator in an attitude of spirit and truth, then we can experience worship on a daily basis. Read with me these words from Paul the Apostle, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God — this is your spiritual act of worship.” (Romans 12:1)
Again, there are simply countless actions that we can participate in when worshiping God. Too many to list in this post, and several of our main acts of worship lead to other acts of worship. For example, showing love (an attribute of God) leads to serving, and serving leads to limitless opportunities for us to worship God and be an example of God’s love to humanity.
So begin looking for ways to learn about God’s many attributes (Galatians 5:22-23), and begin applying those to your daily life. Avoid thinking of music as your only means to encountering godly worship. As you do these things, you will begin to open up that colorful canopy on your “parasol of true worship,” and experience God in amazing ways. Your worship will not only become genuine — expressing your true devotion to God — but it will lead others to be devoted to Him as well. I’ll leave you with one last thought from Paul the Apostle:
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31)
Parasol of True Worship: Your Divine Covering by J.Scott Harden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Based on a work at jasonmin.wordpress.com. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://www.jsnmin.org/.
The Joshua Project by J.Scott Harden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at jasonmin.wordpress.com.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://www.jsnmin.org/.
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