Worship is Seeing

"You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you,
in a dry and parched land where there is no water.  I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.
I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands.  I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you." - Psalm 63

Matt Redman is a Christian songwriter on many favorite songs that are sung today, probably best known for "10,000 Reasons" and "Blessed Be".  One of the phrases that he says frequently is that "Worship is about seeing.  Before you can worship God you must first see God"  I've been thinking about that quote along with how I have been raised to see worship and liturgy in the Lutheran church with that idea that in Christian worship "God comes to us (Word and Sacrament) and his people respond (Praise, Proclamation and Exhortation)"  I love that picture that worship always begins with seeing, which is part of the reason why worshiping the God of scripture is sometimes a challenging thing.

How many things do we see and then follow.  Social media shows us an image, we follow it, or a person or a song or a menu or... and we offer our praise "you are awesome".  We offer our proclamation "This is so awesome!".  We offer our exhortation "You should see this, hear this, get this".  These aren't necessarily bad things, after all encouraging one another and lifting up one another is a good thing.  In the end, we were in fact made to worship, which makes our lives such a minefield when we begin to truly worship created things over the one who created us and brought us to life.  That proper balance is struck when we're walking with Jesus in our personal prayers and time in God's word.

Jesus said "I have come that they may have life to the full"  John 10:10 and in another place reminds us where our joy truly comes from; "I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete." John 15:11.  Our worship truly does start well before we ever get to church, before we ever open a hymnal and before we even head out the door for church.  In our waking moments, we open our eyes and we see.  We see what needs to be done.  We see the need for coffee.  We see our children's smiles, our dog's wagging tails, the cat's "gift" for us in the living room.  For me, it's amazing how many other things I "See" before I see my dearest treasure and relationship - Jesus.

I share this Psalm that I came across in a little moment of quiet time in my reading as an encouragement to all of us.  As I was sitting with this psalm, it has now become my prayer in my waking moments over the past week and I'm hoping that God will help open my eyes of faith to see my Savior and God in all of the waking moments and various circumstances throughout my day.  That I would be less tempted to pursue the worship of the things I'm tempted to reach for that will leave me unsatisfied and would be able to say "no", "I have seen the Lord and beheld his power and glory".  That in the seeing of the one who has loved me to the cross and back, I would declare with the psalmist "Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you."

Worship is about seeing.  I pray that it is not only for an hour on Sunday that this makes sense, but that God would continue to extend our vision to see Christ in all our circumstances so that every response to every situation might be worship that brings joy to God and complete joy to us.

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