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Living it out: Worship as if creation matters
Dave Bookless used the word WORSHIP as an exploration of how we can worship God as if creation matters:
W Wonder at God's creation
O Openness to God speaking through creation
R Rootedness in the place where God put us
S Sabbath rest and re-creation
H Hands-on involvement with creation
I Integration of all our relationships
P Prayer for God's kingdom
This chapter starts with a reminder of the importance of worship, and not just the worship in church with singing and dancing etc... or even regular prayer and bible reading. But worship is something that should happen everyday, in everything that we do (driving, working, etc). And it is something that we should do in creation more often, outside enjoying what God has created.
Wonder at God's creation : As adults we have lost that sense of wonder at the world around us, the majesty and beauty that God created. We need to get back to seeing the world as a small child does.
Openness to God speaking through creation : Creation can be God's way of speaking to us when we've lost our sense of perspective. Get out and spend time with God in creation, you can really get to know alot about who God really is, and what his purpose for us really is.
Rootedness in the place where God put us : We have looked at this concept earlier in the book, we are where we are for a reason. We need to put down roots in the community that we live in, because it is these roots that help us during times of turmoil and strife, like how an established tree can with stand huge winds and storms. Getting rooted in your community is about participating and getting to know people who live around you. Developing a sense of community.
Sabbath rest and re-creation : Again another topic that we have already covered, but it is a concept that in our modern world we seem to consistently miss or dismiss. We are not meant to be on the go 24/7, physically our bodies show the consequences. Most importantly God rested after he created the earth, on the 7th day he rested! And so should we.
Hands-on involvement with creation : We are apart of creation, and we rely on creation. This is something that I have never experienced because I have been lucky enough to grow up in more rural area as a posed to the suburbs or inner city, but people do experience negative consequences of not being able to get out into the fresh air and sunlight. I find their is something uplifting and fulfilling to work the soil and grow plants, especially bringing a sick plant back from the brink of death. Get outside....live.
Integration of our relationship : If Jesus is the one in whom 'all things hold together' (Colossians 1:17) - the centre of the whole universe - than all these fragmented bits of our lives will only make sense if we put him right in the middle and do not shut him out of certain areas. Christians can live quite fragmented lives, who we are at church is not who we are at work and the same at home or with friends. We should not live this way, Jesus should be apart of every part of our lives and affect everything that we do. He is the one who should be in control, not us.
Prayer for God's kingdom : Something that is lacking in my own personal prayer life, before reading this it had never crossed my mind about the importance of thanking God for creation and about things that are happening with creation. I personally have started praying for my garden and for the work I hope to start doing with A Rocha.
1.Using the WORSHIP outline on page 99, think through which of these areas need most attention in your own worship, and that of any church or fellowship you belong to.
Rootedness and prayer are probably my own areas that need work, I think that in someways the same for my church and home group that I belong to. Though I would say that every part of of the WORSHIP outline does need work.
2.Do you see the whole of life, including shopping and lifestyle choices as worship? Are there some practical ways that can help you worship Jesus in the midst of everyday life?
I have tried to be very mindful of the way both me and my husband live, from where our food comes from, how it is produced/treated and what we do with the resources that we consume (waste etc...). These things I have never considered to be worship, and I can see that they are important if not essential parts of worship, and I will continue to do more.
3. Do you pray about the earth? Think of some environmental issues, local or global, that concern or upset you, and take these to God in prayer. If you (and your church) have a pattern of prayer, try to include prayers for the whole of creation on a regular basis.