Worship in a Word


A few weeks ago, in her blog on this Network site, Laura Keeley challenged us to try to summarize the Bible in just a few words.  She shared a fun example that is circulating on the internet.  Check out her blog here. 

Last semester, my friend and co-worker, Nancy Waanders taught a worship class at the local Christian High school.  With an eclectic group of kids who approached worship from varied perspectives and with often opposing agendas, she wondered how to get each of them to speak freely about their thoughts and experiences of worship.  


She challenged them to summarize worship in one word.  Here’s what one of them said:


Worship is the moon.  Like the moon, worship is not the thing itself, but a reflection of that thing.  It is not light, but a reflection.  It is not the center, but a reflection of the center.  


Ponder that one word description for a while and maybe you’ll find room for confession that too often we have made worship the “one thing,” when worship is really a reflection back to God--who is the true, central real source.  


What do you say? Do you have one word for worship? 


Or if you feel too embedded in the work of worship--you know, the serious business of worship--ask someone else.  What do the teenagers, young adults, children, and those who are old enough not to care what everyone else thinks have to say about it?  What do musicians, artists, sound techs, nursery workers, janitors say that worship is?  What do new-comers and faithful members, Elders and Deacons call worship?

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For me the one word is "Lens."

Like the word "Moon" which reflects God's wonder and/or heaven's praise, "Lens" has to do with focus on God Himself. It's possible for us humans to put the focus on the act of worship, on the music, on the prayer, etc., but when we do, it ceases to be worship. In worship the focus is always on God Himself (even when we sing encouragement to each other!).


I would chose the word "Center".  During worship I put aside all the business of life and center myself on God. 

We have asked Joy's question "What single word would you use to describe worship?" on Facebook. Check out

What single word would you use to describe worship?

Posted by Christian Reformed Church in North America - CRCNA on Wednesday, February 15, 2012

rel="nofollow">some of the responses



Thanks for these responses and for the notes on Facebook.  Today, as I worship in Botswana, I would use the word "global."  One God, many voices.  One faith, many expressions.