Friday, October 18, 2013

Both Worship and Service

Imagine a husband and wife.

Which of these would be better?

If one served the other - out of love - doing things for them, and looking out for their needs, providing things for them. But never showed any emotion. Never got lost in passion or adoration for them. While the husband might know the wife loved him, and see it in her actions, wouldn't he long to feel it too?

Or if one showed passion to the other, made their love clear. But then did nothing to serve the other. Bursts of adoration, but then ignored. Wouldn't they wonder why this person who professed so much love was never moved to act on it for them?

Surely we would say that neither is better. That one would make people burned out and used up, and the other would feel good in the moment, but not be lasting. Different people might display these if different proportions, but if one is almost absent, the marriage would be in trouble.

It is the same in the church, as the Bride of Christ.

We need both worship and service. Neither is less than the other. Both are so necessary and so right. Different people may display these expressions of love in different proportions - and the many members come together to create the one harmonious body. But still in each individual person, we cannot have one entirely without the other.

Worship and adoration, being moved and swept up in love for Jesus, longing for His embrace, being overwhelmed by His presence and grace... these are such wonderful, important things.

When Mary poured out her valuable perfume over Jesus just days before his death, her act of sacrificial worship was praised and deeply appreciated by Him. There was no better way she could have used that perfume at that time, than to worship and lavish love on Jesus.

And service - Jesus, in all His power and position as the Son of God, chose to humble himself as a servant. And He tells us to do the same with our inheritance as co-heirs. We should clothe the naked, feed the hungry, free the oppressed. Whatever we do for the least, we are doing for Him.

But are we then to say... I'm a server. I'm practical. I'm not emotional or touchy feely, so I don't really get much out of worship. Even the most stoic man or woman must lose themselves in love for their husband or wife at least sometimes. Why would love for Jesus never overtake us likewise, and so much more so?

Or if we are worshippers, if we feel strongly the emotions and passion of love for and from Jesus... should that not then move us to act? To pour out that same love on others, just as Jesus did? Why would we only hoard it for ourselves, if our worship truly is sacrificial and transformative?

We need both - the fire and the long burning fuel for those flames.

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