Lately I've been thinking about worship as an everyday attitude, so this morning as I was singing, exercising, and talking to God (while telling Jayden to not touch that and pick this up and stop putting that in his mouth and that belongs to sister and put it back), I also thought about Psalm 100.
Here are some thoughts about the Psalm and where we worship ... or at least what it means to worship, really ...
Where do you worship? When I ask people that question, I always get the same answer – the church they attend on Sundays. And no wonder. On Sunday mornings we go to worship services, are called to worship by worship leaders, sing songs led by worship teams. In our culture, worship is what we do on Sunday mornings. Work is what we do the rest of the week.
But a closer look at Psalm 100 shows us that maybe we’ve got it all wrong. Psalm 100:2-3 says:
2 Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. 3 Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his….
At first glance, these verses don’t seem to have anything to do with our work week. That is, until we realize the Hebrew word used for “worship” in verse two is the same word (abad) used in Exodus 20:9: “Six days you shall labor and do all your work …” It’s also often translated “serve.”
Consider the difference when we read Exodus 20:9 in that way: “Six days you shall worship, you shall serve, and do all your business . . .” Worship, then, is not just that thing we do in the church building on Sunday mornings. Worship is what we do in our business; it’s what we do the other six days of the week.
If worshipping God, serving Him, is for our workday, then how does that change how we go about doing our regular work? Again, Psalm 100 helps us to understand.
Verse two calls us to worship the Lord with gladness. What attitude do we bring to our work? Do we complain about it as if it’s a burden? Is our work something we just get through to make a few bucks? Or do we engage in our business with an attitude of joy and thankfulness? If work is worship, then our attitude needs to be one of gladness to serve.
Psalm 100 also calls us to come before His presence with singing. While our actual work situation may not allow us to literally sing, we can, at least, pay attention to what’s coming out of our mouths at work. If work is worship, then things like grumbling and gossip are out of place. Instead, our speech needs to be more like a song – filled with light and grace.
Verse three reminds us to know that the Lord is God and we are His. We are not the “god” of our workplace. When we manage others, interact with customers, deal with fellow workers in the workplace, we do it with humility knowing that God is the “big boss” and we are not.
In the end, Psalm 100 tells us that the Biblical view of worship is for everyday, for our work days. It’s not just a Sunday event. We do it with gladness, grace, and humility, knowing that we are worshipping our real boss in heaven.