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Why Do You Worship?
 
“But the time is coming—it has, in fact, come—when what you’re called will not matter and where you go to worship will not matter. It’s who you are and the way you live that count before God.”
John 4:23, The Message
 
Some time ago, I was sitting in a fellow cleric’s office and we were reflecting on my first year at St Martin’s. Quite out of the blue, my clergy colleague asked me, “Jane, why do you worship?” I was caught so off guard by the question that I stumbled around with a few academic answers and nothing felt as if it rang true. It clearly showed!
 
So he asked again, “Really, Jane, why do you worship?” I said something along the lines of, “Because it’s what makes getting up in the morning and breathing in and out make sense.”
 
It’s such an important question and ever since I’ve been thinking about the answer.
 
Today, I read these short verses in John, my favorite Gospel. It reminded me that as hard as it is, God is not interested in the   location  of our worship. I know  we  are; we love beautiful architecture, working air conditioning and the tranquility of having a space where we’re not perpetually interrupted by the children, the dog or the various things on our ‘to-do’ list. Yet they don’t reflect God’s priorities–He cares that we come to Him wholeheartedly and honestly.
 
So how would you answer the question?  Why do you worship?
 
You have probably heard the adage: “Going to church makes you a Christian as much as sitting in a garage makes you a car.” While that might make you smile, it’s also profoundly true.
 
This is a season of learning to worship differently and finding within us the real heart of worship. When you can’t come to the building, what remains for you? Where is Jesus found? Where is the voice of God? How does  God  want you to worship? Each of us needs to cultivate that inner space that connects with God, by His Spirit, regardless of our location. What does that look like for you?
 
When the music fades, all is stripped away, and I simply come
Longing just to bring something that's of worth that will bless your heart
I'll bring you more than a song, for a song in itself is not what you have required
You search much deeper within through the way things appear:
You're looking into my heart

(© Matt Redman,  2015 Survivor Records)
The Rev. Jane P. Ferguson
Associate for Liturgy, Student Ministries and Outreach
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