Worship is not a Sunday morning deal. I must be worshiping most of the moments of the day in order to call myself a follower of the Great I Am.  But what happens on Sunday morning in a church can be critical in the life of the Spirit and our response to it because of one difference to “any time” worship— on Sunday mornings, we do it together.

As an introvert, I so feel the Presence when I am alone and many times prefer it this way. However, the God of relationship who values relationship over all things, calls me into relationship with not only Him but with His children. And the best place to practice that relationship is in church where I am surrounded by those that believe as I do that grace and mercy and truth are the pinnacles of a true walk that is step by step with Him. That way when I mess up, as I inevitably do, I can relax into the safety of arms that will give me a second (and third, and fourth…) chance as we’ve seen Jesus do for us all.

How can I stay away from congregational worship? Where else can I count on that everlasting love that I read about in the scriptures, to have my back? And when I’m in worship, enthralled with focus on Him, surrounded by others that are doing the same, all my worries and anxieties become, as Francesca Battistelli says “strangely dim”. He becomes clearer and I start to disappear (thank you, Bebo Norman).

Then Jesus calls me out, and serving itself becomes my worship.  Or until one beautiful sunny morning, when nature is alive and I’m reminded that God is in the songbird, and the insect, and the pine needles, and the breeze and that He has created each one to remind me that my life is one extended worship experience!

—Joy Ann Harmon, Director of Worship