What comes to your mind when you think of worship?
- Putting on clothes that are fairly uncomfortable
- Yowling at the family to get to church on time because we’re going to enjoy service, dang it!
- Paper: bulletins, directories, offering cards that can be turned into airplanes
- The smells of bad coffee
- Songs, some old and some new, meaning at some point somebody has a happy face and somebody has a cranky face
- Sermons, a.k.a. time to stare at the pastor’s tie
- Offering plates that feel oh so slippery and wanting to hit the floor
Some variation of the above list is fairly typical images or components of worship.
But you know what I think of? Seven layer Jello salad. Really, that’s what first comes to mind. See, I grew up at Boise Friends Church, and we potlucked: oh, how we potlucked. One of my friend’s moms often made this jello salad which was so pretty and tasty and fun to take apart, and I was always wondered how she did it (fortunately, the wonders of the internet revealed her kitchen magic).
Now, a salad made out of gelatin may not seem to be a critical element of worship for you. But for me it represents a time of fellowship: my favorite part of worship.
On Sundays my family would drive a ways across town, attend worship in the sanctuary before scuttling off to children’s church and then Sunday School. While it was enjoyable sing ingthe songs and having Bible stories told to us on felt boards, the real fun was to be had after service during the fellowship time. People would hang out and talk for what seemed to be forever. The kids would run around crazylike hopped up on sugar cookies and red Kool Aid, and my folks would chat and laugh and really enjoy themselves. If we weren’t having a potluck, my friends and I would run back and forth between parents convincing them that we needed to go out to lunch: usually we wore them down pretty fast – anything to let them continue having adult conversation (which, as a parent, I now completely understand the need for).
Hearing the people laughing. Running around with friends. Contributing to the canned food tubs. Bringing in love loaves Enjoying each others’ company and hearing each others’ stories. To me, that is fellowship, but the deeper connecting bond is worship.
So, what comes to your mind when you hear the word “worship”?