There are so many ways this question might be answered! Some worship traditions promote formal services (sometimes in ancient languages); some focus on sacraments; some emphasize searching out the spirit within; some try to involve the heart and voice together in active worship.
What all worship styles should have in common, though, is that they should focus peoples’ attention on God. In the best of all worlds, everything that goes on in worship would either point to God or help people to come nearer to Him.
Unfortunately this is too often not the case. Looking at Christianity, even in modern churches, the temptation to shift the focus elsewhere — on the music, the preaching, the worshippers, anywhere but on God — is always there.
Here’s a thought that might shake up just about every kind of church out there.
Today I was learning Greek verbs and came across the word we translate as “to worship”. In the Greek it looks like this:
Spoken, the word sounds like “pros-kew-nay-o”. I immediately recognized the first syllable “pros,” meaning “to” or “towards”, and I wondered if the rest of the word (kunaeo) had any particular meaning. It does. Journey with me.
The lexicon points out that “pros” has the same root as the word “prostrate”, to fall face-down at someone’s feet, and the word “proskunaeo” was a word the ancient Greeks used to describe how one would humble oneself before the very greatest of kings or gods.
And “kunaeo” means “to kiss”. So, taken together, “proskunaeo” — in Christian worship — means to fall at Jesus’ feet and kiss them.
Do your worship services and/or activities bring you this holistically before His throne? As you sit or stand in church are you able to catch a glimpse of those nail-scarred feet and give Him all your heart and all your being in thanks?
If not, then true worship needs to reclaimed and restored. There is a joy in just meditating on this word that I haven’t found in thousands of others. I invite you to join me in making it your own.