On your knees
Worship is a fascinating word, in both Hebrew and Greek, there are two major kinds of word for worship. The first kind means to bow down, to kneel, to put one’s face down as an act of respect and submission. Our body language is saying, 'I will do whatever you want me to. I am ready to listen to your instructions and I am willing to obey.'
The other kind of biblical word means to serve. Roughly half of the time these words are translated as worship, and the other half as serve. It carries the idea of doing something for God, making a sacrifice or carrying out his instructions. Worship is therefore the essence of being a follower of Christ.
What would you do if Jesus walked into the room right now? I was asked this question whilst I was with some incredible friends of mine who are in their eighties. I said, “well I would probably grab him a coffee and have a chat about all those questions that I want answers to!” We went round the room a bit and I then posed the same question to the husband in this elderly couple. Slowly he said, “I think I would get straight down on my knees, and then on my front, as His presence will be so large that all I could do is bow down in worship.” Well I was told! This man blew me away with his humility and his view of Jesus.
I have been brought up in the culture of church that says that Jesus is my best friend. Jesus is the kind guy who will help me when I am in need, and when I’m not, he will peer down on me and smile at me, waiting for me to call on him to come and hold hands for a bit and have some of his niceness poured into my heart. I want to speak against that picture - not because it isn't the Jesus I want to tell people about, because it is, but He is also so much more than that. The fact that he calls us friends is essential to our understanding of a God who calls us close, who does hold our hand, but He is also King over His Kingdom, of which we are a part as His followers. This Creator God who came to rescue us. The glory of his massiveness and his humility in coming to get us is spoken about beautifully in Philippians 2:5-11. When God speaks the dead rise, and we as risen people are to worship a God who has that power in his words, but also breaks into our world and grabs us by the hand.
You see, worship is a life lived to serve the King and to glorify our Friend. Worship is the realisation of, and acting upon, our smallness in comparison to God almighty, creator of all - on our knees, bowing our heads and lifting our hands in glory to Him who saves.
"That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth."