Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering and come into his courts.
Just down the road from our church is a care facility for adults who are mentally and physically disabled. On most Sundays our church has the honor of hosting a number of them in our worship services. Sometimes people question whether the residents are really benefiting from the worship time, and sometimes we question if the loud noises that some of them make are too distracting for public worship. But those questions show how far it is possible to stray from the true purpose of worship.
Our consumerist culture teaches us to think worship is “all about us.” A great “worship experience” is one that people find convenient and entertaining. But Scripture teaches that true worship is not about us; it’s about God. It’s the holy work of praising him, celebrating his love, and renewing our covenant relationship with him. God, first of all, is the one who should “get something out of it” (our adoration), and he is the one whom our worship should please.
Psalm 96 calls us (and all of nature!) to “sing to the Lord” and “praise his name.” Its Godcenteredness is echoed in the presence of all who come to worship. God calls everyone to come to him, and he bids us to welcome all who do. (See Luke 14:15-24; 18:15-17.)
Dearest Father, you are worthy of our praise, our devotion, our obedience, and our love. Forgive us if we have been stingy with these things, and lead us to offer them to you, in whose name we pray. Amen.
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