We hear a lot, these days, about “Spiritual Worship”.
Several miles down the road, there’s a large church that guarantees 45-minutes of “Spirit-filled” worship on Sunday evenings. Many of us imagine that “Spiritual Worship” is going to be filled with lively music, heart-touching testimonies, an occasional altar call; and, of course, a pastoral message that inspires and ignites passion in the lives of God’s people.
But, the worship of the Church isn’t always exciting, is it? Many churches that people would label as “liturgical” use the same service each week; and often, they only change the setting of the service several times each year. Many churches offer a service that is filled with the moving and inspiring music of praise bands, while still other churches like more traditional forms of music that’s played on an organ. But one of the things we need to realize is that the music, the mood, the lighting, and the moving testimonies are only a part of “Spiritual Worship” – at least according to the Bible. And that’s what this week’s message is all about.
St. Paul describes “Spiritual Worship” in the first two verses of the 12th chapter of his letter to the Romans (Romans 12:1-2). In “Spiritual Worship”, we offer all that we are and all that we ever hope to be as a “living sacrifice” to the God of the Universe. As we come to understand “Spiritual Worship” more clearly, we come to see that, as we present ourselves to God as a “living sacrifice,” the day-to-day activities in our lives become as precious to God as the work of a priest performing sacrifices in the Temple (or a church). In “Spiritual Worship”, the “daily service” of “renewed minds” becomes the ministry of God’s people – both as individuals and as churches. St. Paul is quite clear when he tells us that “Spiritual Worship” is far more than what happens inside the walls of a building on Sunday morning (or Saturday night), because “Spiritual Worship” happens as we live-out our faith in uncertain times, and as we work together to proclaim the truth of God’s love in a world that often teaches us to be content with divisions, hatred, bitterness and even public expressions of rage.