There’s a story about a man who, leaving church one Sunday, complained about the music. “I didn’t like the hymns you chose today,” he said. The pastor simply replied, “That’s OK; we weren’t singing them for you.”
The pastor may have been too blunt, but he made a good point. In our consumer-oriented world, we sometimes think church services are just for us; but we aren’t spectators attending a show—we’re participants in the greatest and most uplifting enterprise in the universe-worshiping God.
Though we are blessed in doing it, our worship is not for ourselves, but for Him. We are praising God for His power, His glory, His majesty, His wisdom, His holiness, His goodness and His grace.
The late William Temple, archbishop of Canterbury, put it well in his oft-quoted definition of worship: “To worship is to quicken the conscience by the holiness of God, to purge the imagination by the beauty of God, to open the heart to the love of God, and to devote the will to the purpose of God.” (Turning Point Daily Devotional, 8-12-05)