Integrity Worship Institute- Word of Worship

So I'm starting week 6 of the Integrity Worship Institute.   It's been quite the interesting journey.  Throughout the past five weeks, I've been discovering some simple truths that I'd either forgotten or simply glazed over.

One of the great things that is part of the syllabus requirements for the class is a weekly "Word of Worship."   This is a short research essay (200-500 words) in which we are to explore a particular scripture as it regards to the process of worship.  Generally I try to relate it to the topic of the week.  My buddy Alastair posted one of his essays a while ago, and it was great seeing what others have to say.   We interact in a discussion forum, but reading Alastair's essay was great, and you should read it.

I admit, the first couple of weeks I kind of "whipped something out" for this assignment.  Our professor, Dr. Pete Sanchez, challenged me to get a little deeper into it, so I've been studying the words used in some of the scriptures.  Here's my essay from this past week.

One of the most enduring, simple and profound demonstrations of worship in the New Testament takes place during the Sermon on the Mount, where Jesus spent a day teaching thousands of people many things about the Kingdom of God. But, He also taught them how to worship, in the simplest, most effective terms.

We refer to the passage in Matthew 6, verses 9-15, as the "Lord's Prayer," because it is the way He prayed and taught us to pray. But it is also an intimate act of worship, especially the beginning.
"Our Father who is in Heaven, hallowed be your name. Your Kingdom come, your will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven." (Matthew 6:9-10, New King James Version)

The beginning of this prayer is a profound statement of worship. Jesus begins by praising God, by lifting Him up and acknowledging His position. The word "hallowed" has survived from the oldest English translations, and is in virtually every modern translation. It comes from the Greek hagiazo, which means to "render or acknowledge" or to "separate from profane things." (Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, G37)

Jesus' next phrase is "Your Kingdom come," The word basileia does not mean an actual "kingdom;" rather it refers to the "right or authority to rule over a kingdom." (Strong's, G932) What more of an act of praise is there to acknowledge God's holy name, set apart from all others, and to hope for and call upon His dominion over all things?

Worship need not be complex or difficult, couched in great language and deep thought. Worship can be what is referred to in modern literature as "high-concept" - that is, easily grasped, simple, plainly spoken. For within this simple praise, lies a deep and profound act of worship.


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