Do you remember the song ‘Heart of Worship’ by Matt Redman?
I know. I know. Bringing up a song from 1998 dates oneself. But do you remember it? If not, you can have a cultural experience by going here.
As we’re wrapping up plans for our Sunday Service Day @ Alma Gardens my mind jumped to the part of the song that says,
‘I’ll bring you more than a song
For a song in itself
Is not what you have required’
90’s worship aside (and yes, I promise to put it aside after this post), do you believe what this song proclaims?
Does worshipping the triune God involve more than singing songs?
Further, does it extend beyond proclaiming the word?
Beyond gathering at the table to meet Christ in communion?
As a church family we certainly believe that worship includes each of these things but it also includes much, much more. At its core, worship is about integrating our lives with God’s life. It’s about re-centering our desires. It’s about discovering and then saying ‘no’ to our idols. And all of that involves more than singing songs.
Ok, so maybe you can get on board with everything I’ve said so far. But how about this:
Worship includes picking fruit.
As in oranges, lemons, and grapefruit.
Here are two reasons why:
- Serving Others Is Worship
On Sunday we’ll gather at Alma Gardens Mobile Home Park (530 S. Alma School Rd. Mesa, AZ 85210) to serve our neighbors. It may seem like an insignificant act of service for you to pick fruit off of trees but it’s not insignificant to our neighbors. You see when we remove the fruit from their trees it means that it won’t be on the ground or on the roof of their home. This means that rats (and other unwelcome rodents) won’t find any treats on or around our neighbor’s homes. Is that good news or what?!?!?
Can you imagine dozens of people, some who don’t know Jesus, saying ‘I’m so thankful those Christians came to my home today.’ While there are many things that bring a smile to our Father, this would certainly be one of them. And that—bringing joy to our Father—is part of what worship is about.
While serving our neighbors is enough of a reason for us to skip singing it’s not the only reason.
- Being in Community is Worship
When we gather together to serve it provides time for us to interact in a manner different than how we interact during a normal Sunday Gathering. We get to have extended conversations with one another as we work. We get to encourage our kids to see beyond themselves as they labor (and play!) in our midst. We get to eat a full meal together, as one family, with our neighbors. Being a people in relationship with one another—brothers and sisters in God’s family—asking questions, sharing stories, swapping recipes, holding each other’s children, and much, much more brings joy to our Father. This is part of what worship is all about.
These are just two components of a life lived before God and for his glory.
In his book The Dangerous Act of Worship, Mark Labberton says,
For all of our apparent passion about God, in the end much of our worship seems to be mostly about us … (yet) Biblical worship that finds God will also find our neighbor (21).
On Sunday we’ll be saying worship is not just about us. On Sunday we’ll be saying we see you to our neighbors. On Sunday we’ll be saying, with our hands, worship can and should happen while picking fruit.
At 10am on Sunday February 12th—did you put it in your calendar yet?—a group of Jesus loving, neighbor seeing, God glorifying people will be picking fruit together. Our hope is that you’ll clear your schedule to be there. Oh, and from 11:30-12:30 we’ll have a potluck meal with our neighbors.
Well, as Matt Redman said, worship is more than a song.