by Dr. J. Vernon McGee

What is Worship?
Dr. J. Vernon McGee

On next Lord's Day morning, if the ministers over this land of ours were to ask this question: "How many of you have ever worshiped God?" no doubt virtually every hand would be lifted. Therefore, it would be presumptuous, would it not, for me to say that very few people have actually worshiped God? But there are some Christians who have never really worshiped Him. We feel that is revealed today in the lack of vitality and vigor in our worship. It is a fact that public worship is anemic and aimless for the most part. It is further reflected in a lack of meaning and an abysmal ignorance of worship. It has been reduced to an empty shell and a hollow sham of ritual and cold liturgy - no warmth of life, just cold form! This, in a day when folk are saying, "We want reality in our Christian faith, we want reality in experience."

There is a rather amusing story that comes out of the days when oil was first found in East Texas. Several dirt farmers who had been on the very margin of starvation found themselves overwhelmed with untold riches. One such family that had been extremely poor became virtual millionaires overnight. As usual, they wanted to go the limit and make up for all the things they had been missing in life, so the wife in the family went to the beauty parlor. She wanted the "whole works." And when the beauty operator asked, "Do you want a shampoo?" she arose indignantly and said, "I do not want a sham-poo; I want a genuine poo."

And so in the matter of worship, people are tired of the sham, the substitute; they want reality. We have probably examined a bin of books on the subject of worship, most of which have not actually dealt with the heart of the subject at all. They have to do with the accessories, the adjuncts, the accouterments that go with it. Generally there is a chapter on "Preaching" and one on "Music," perhaps one on "Lighting and Ventilation" and then one on "Prayer" and one on "Reading the Scriptu ...

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