So what happens when we are all snowed in and can’t make it to a church on a Sunday morning? What we might easily think is that we have to miss worshipping God today, but to think that would be to miss out on the reality that our worship of God is not limited to a 60-90 minute time window on a Sunday morning.
The Sunday morning “worship service” is simply a designated time that we gather together as the whole body to worship God. If you were with us last Sunday, we talked about the reality that the basic understanding of what worship is, is that it is about giving and not getting. While the world we live in a consumeristic world in which we approach almost everything as consumers (what’s it in for me attitude), our tendency can be to approach church and the worship service in particular with this same mindset.
So if we come to a worship service with the mindset of “what will we get out of this,” then we have already wrongly understood worship. Worship is giving honor and reverence to God. The basic meaning of worship in the Old Testament is to “bow low” or “prostrate oneself.” Worship is also about giving praise and thanksgiving to God. Worship is also offering our bodies as living sacrifices to God, as Romans 12:1 tells us.
Knowing this, we realize that we can give God honor anywhere and anytime. We can give God praise and thanks anywhere and anytime. We can offer our bodies as a living sacrifice anywhere and anytime, which in reality is an invitation to worship God everywhere and all the time. This invitation that Paul gives us in Romans 12:1 is to worship God always. We are invited to live our lives as an ongoing offering to God.
So worshipping God is not limited to a Sunday morning hour at a church building somewhere with other believers. Please don’t misunderstand. Our corporate worship together as the body of Christ is absolutely vital to our growth as followers of Christ. We need to be together in our worship. There is something about being together to praise God, to share in a meal together around a table in which we remember Christ’s death, to sing praises and hymns with thanksgiving in our hearts, to celebrate the new life in Christ of those who are baptized, to commit ourselves to one another and to God whenever a baby is dedicated or baptized, to humble ourselves in prayer before our God, and to hear God’s story read and proclaimed. So what happens when we are snowed in and can’t all be together for our designated time of corporate worship? We worship God from wherever we are.
As we are “stuck” at home somewhere due to the weather, may we remember that we don’t have to miss out on worshipping God today. Sometimes being stuck at home makes us all slow down and realize how much we have to be thankful for. So let us give thanks to God for all that He has done. Let us offer praise to God by singing some songs with our family, with a neighbor or perhaps by ourselves. Let us read scripture together or by ourselves today. Let us pray wherever we are and offer our ears to God by listening to Him, and let us offer our needs to God who loves to hear from his children. Maybe what we offer God today is a helping hand to a neighbor in need of shoveling snow. Let us worship God today with gladness in our hearts!