Life is made up of a rich tapestry – dark and light threads, bright and dull colours, rough and smooth textures. You may have heard it said, turn the cloth one way and it is messy, a bit ugly with tied knots and makes little sense; but then, turn it over, and it is a fine woven lovingly embroidered tapestry telling a beautiful life story. Do you see your life as a work of art full of worship and wonder or as a mess? The Embroiderer calls us to a relationship where the wonder brings out the worship. Or as Thomas Carlisle puts it: ‘Wonder is the basis of worship’.
Defining ‘worship’ is not an ‘exact science’! Dictionaries give this: ‘the feeling or expression of reverence and adoration (for a deity)’. Often, we may also think of praise, thanksgiving and glory being offered to God as integral to ‘worship’. Think of a beautiful painting – when someone praises it, they are giving glory to the artist. Likewise, God’s creation of you is a work of art that speaks of his glory, whether we speak it out or not. We all worship something, for that is how we are made, so it must be sad for the Creator when he see us worship other things, which he calls out as ‘idolatry’:
- ‘Self-made men often worship their creator’ – Bryant H. McGill
- ‘Man, so long as he remains free, has no more constant and agonizing anxiety than find as quickly as possible someone to worship’ – Fyodor Dostoevsky
- ‘They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised’ – Romans 1:25
- ‘You shall have no foreign god among you; you shall not worship any god other than me’ – Psalm 81:9
There are many idol substitutes that can take our love, time, attention, filling our thoughts and emptying our pockets – sport, hobbies, obsessions, knowledge, people, ambition, music. These thing are not wrong in themselves until they are worshipped for themselves rather than the one who has given them to us to enjoy with him. If we will live a life of worship and wonder, then all of life can and should be that of worshipful enjoyment of our generous Father God in whose image we have been made.
- ‘A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell’ – C S. Lewis
- ‘Worship is a way of seeing the world in the light of God’ – Abraham Joshua Heschel
- ‘Human beings were put on the planet to depend upon their Creator and to worship their Creator at every point in every sphere of culture’ – John Piper
- ‘We need worship for our spirit, fellowship for our soul and committed subservience for our body’ – Larry Norman
What words and ways spring to your mind when you think of how you like to worship God? Perhaps words like humility, surrender, awe, sincerity? Maybe also words like body, soul and spirit?
- ‘Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth’ – John 4:23-24
- ‘Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendour of his holiness’ – Psalm 29:2
- ‘Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs’ – Psalm 100:2
Amazingly, God still takes delight in what he has made calling it ‘good’ and you as made in his image, he calls ‘very good’! That love is to be mutual – our instinct should be to delight ourselves in God, in all things. Living like this is a worshipping lifestyle that comes through songs, prayers, creativity, serving, loving, working and ‘just being’.
- ‘Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship’ – Romans 12:1
Let your life be one of worship and wonder whichever side of the tapestry you’re looking at – this is the fulfilled and joyful life that is safe in the hands of The Embroiderer and lives to his praise and glory in and through all things.
TAGS - embroiderer, worship, creator, glory, praise, honour, Romans, Psalms