ONLINE CHURCH BULLETIN
HOMAGE WORSHIP, PART 1
If worship is homage, where is home? We came from God (Gen. 2:7; Heb. 12:9); we return to God (Ecc. 12:7).' Home is where God is-where we will one day be. The best-selling book, Chicken Soup for the Soul, includes a captivating story about a little four-year-old girl named Sachi. When Sachi's little brother was born, she immediately began asking her parents if she could spend time alone him. Concerned that she might not be gentle with a newborn, they said "no." But, as time went by, they noticed her tenderness with him and allowed her a private conference. Sachi crept quietly into the baby's room as tier parents listened carefully from the door. She leaned down to him and said, "Baby, tell me what God feels like. I'm starting to forget."
WHAT IS WORSHIP? HOMAGE.
This bending the knee involves more than submission (duty); it involves admiration (reverence). Homage entails bowing down for proskuneo also means to "do reverence to, adore." It is said that the name translated Jehovah is so sacred to Jews that they refer to God as "the One whose name cannot be pronounced." The Hebrews sang, "0 come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker. For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture..," (Psa. 95:6,7) . Moses bowed at the burning bush (Ex. 3:6). Daniel bowed in front of a window (Dan. 6: 10). Jesus bowed in a Garden (Mk. 14:3 5). Peter kneeled to pray in a little girl's bedroom (Acts 9:40). The early disciples knelt on seashores (Acts 20:36; 21:5). Paul bowed his "knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ..." (Eph. 3:14). One day at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow (Phil. 2: 10). We may or may not physically bend our knees in prayer (a custom we might not should have so easily abandoned), but we must bend the knees of our souls as we stand in God's presence. When a Massoretic scribe comes to the name of God while copying Scripture, he gets up, takes a bath, changes clothes, and uses a new writing instrument to copy it. While we express reverence in a different way, we could use a healthy dose of such an attitude in our worship services.' It is an awesome thing to stand before God (Psa. 33:8; 89:7; Jer. 5:22,23).
Homage involves "kissing the hand" toward God (affection). God desires worship; it is His "delight." "He seeketh such to worship him" (Jn. 4:23). He offers us fellowship with Himself, but He looks for fellowship from us as well. Jesus longed for the fellowship of His disciples on the eve of His crucifixion. "With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer" (Lk. 22:15). He desired their fellowship to strengthen Him for His conflict. He asks for it today also. A happy Christian met an Irish peddler and said to him, "It's a grand thing to be saved." "Aye," said the peddler, "It is. But I think something is equally
1. Incidentally, if we fail to understand our origin, and our destiny, then we cannot worship properly.
2 It is interesting that if we will bow down to God, He will "bow down" to notice us: "LORD, bow down thine ear, and hear..."
(2 Kgs. 19:16).
3. Abraham Lincoln said: "Let reverence of law be taught in schools and colleges, be written in primers and spelling books, be published from pulpits and proclaimed in legislative houses, and enforced in the courts of justice; in short, let it become the political religion of the nation." as good as that." "What can you possibly think is equal to salvation?" "The companionship of the Man who has saved me," was the reply. God allows us to commune with Him in worship. "Truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ" (I John 1:3).
A fuller definition of proskuneo is: "to kiss-like a dog licking his master's hand; to fawn or crouch to." It was used of pagans who "blew kisses" to their "gods." In our worship we show affection for the One who is "altogether lovely" (cf. Song 5:16). Love was a part of Old Testament worship ("...let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee ... let such as love thy salvation say continually, The LORD be magnified... Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: and let such as love thy salvation say continually, Let God be magnified," Psa. 5:11; 40-16; 70:4), but it has deepened in the fuller revelation in the New Testament.
One New Testament definition of a Christian is "one who loves God" (Rm. 8:28; 1 Cor. 8:31; 1 Jn. 4:20; 5:2). Therefore, one definition of worship could be "the love song of one who loves God." Worship is more than fulfilling a duty, thanking a Bene factor, fearing a Creator, or even honoring a King. It is loving a Father, The forgiven woman who was so grateful for forgiveness that she "...stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with-tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment" (Lk. 7:38) illustrates the way we all feel toward our Savior. When a boy falls in love with a girl, his friends do not have to remind him, "You really should go see her this weekend." His parents do not have to encourage him to call her each day. No, love prompts action. So it is with worship. A Christian in love with God doesn't have to be prodded to express it. It is natural. The homage we pay on Sundays is an unashamed visible expression of the deep love we feel for an indescribable God (Psa. 116:1). Taking all the New Testament words for worship, one can get a full grasp of what it is. Worship should have the motivations of making obeisance to One greater (proskuneo), of feeling awe in His presence (sebomai), of reverently "bowing the knee" before Him (gonupeteo), of humbly offering our lives in sacrificial service to Him (latreuo), and of establishing a pattern of life consistent with our worship (leitourgeo) (Gilmore).
Dwight Bradley wrote, “... Worship is a thirsty land crying out for rain,
It is a candle in the act of being kindled,
It is a drop in quest of the ocean, . . .
It is a voice in the night calling for help,
It is a soul standing in awe before the mystery of the universe...
It is time flowing into eternity...
[It is] a man climbing the stairs to God.
Don't forget to pay your homage this Sunday.