But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him (John 4:23).
Worshipping the Lord as a community of believers binds us together because corporate worship brings the many into one. Individuality is left behind and the body becomes prominent and though many, we become one. Last week, we emphasized that worship is not what we have generally come to believe it to be: the singing of songs. True worship is saying the same thing about God that He says about Himself, and it springs from a recognition of who God is and what He has done. Our expression may include the singing of songs to Him or about Him, and it may be coupled with reverent expressions and demonstrations, but it is not limited to that.
Partaking of communion is an expression of worship. 1 Corinthians 10:17 affirms, “for we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread.” In communion, we recognize who God is, and we remember what He has done. With grateful hearts together, as a community bound by His sacrifice, we receive, aware that we are carrying out His command. In this expression of worship, our vision is clear and our position is clearly defined. We worship in spirit and in truth.
In our daily lives, the Holy Spirit gives us common experiences. He takes us through common trials, and those trials are usually painful, but our continual obedience to God, our submission to Him, and our right responses to whatever He brings and allows (through the pain) produces real worship. He weaves us together as one body because of the commonality of our experiences. The specific details of our trials are different, but the general experience and impact on our spirit lives are similar. In all of them, we are coming to an end of our self-life. As we grow in the Lord, we learn that the trials we experience cause us to be broken before Him. Isaiah 28:28 declares, “bread flour must be ground.” In this process, worship is enhanced, and individuality is diminished. Somehow, God molds us and compresses us into one. For “we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread” (1 Corinthians 10:17).
In both of these expressions, in worshipping God by partaking of communion, as well as in worshipping God in the midst of trials, we worship when our focus is Jesus. The disciples led the early church by giving them a clear focus of Jesus. Just as a photographer taking a picture of a flower will obscure all else surrounding the flower to emphasize the beauty of the subject, the apostles focused on Jesus and stressed the essential elements of worship: proper doctrine, communion, and prayers. Our having a proper understanding of worship will be liberating.