WOKE – The word is mainstream, it reflects a verbiage of needing to stay alert and aware of what is going on. It has spread beyond the grammatically incorrect hashtag and has gained acceptance in a wide variety of venues – describing an informed, culturally educated person.
WONDER – An amazement, a sense of awe and realization to the beauty, marvel, and ‘wow’-ness of something.
For the next few weeks, I will take every Sunday blog to discuss elements of worship. I mean, Sundays are the days most of us worship. And though worship services and styles vary from church to church, there are several things that most of us connect to a worship service. When I was at Friendship, and when we did communion, we would often put in a short explanation of what this was, why we were doing it, and an invitation for other believers to join us in the juice and bread (which was divinely baked by Tina H – oh how I miss her God given skill of baking). In my visiting churches in the DFW area, there was one church that would list a different worship element every week – briefly describing the what and why they do it. Very powerful reminders to all of us.
So today, the first of this ‘Worship Moments’ – Let’s go back to an overall aspect of worship – the WOWness. Worship should create a sense of awe, a prompting to the overwhelming greatness of God. We should be ‘Woke on Wonder’ – WOW!
In Genesis 28, we have the first mention of a stairway to heaven (sorry, Led Zeppelin, Jacob got there first.) Jacob dreamed the great image of heaven being opened and angels were ascending and descending – heaven was coming to man!! (great Christ image here, for another day) And he awoke and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it!… How awesome is this place! It is none other than the house of God, and the gate of heaven.” He even gave the place a new name – Bethel (House of God). He was in awe and he worshiped. Maybe worship loses a bit of awe to you because you forget God is in the house. Don’t ever forget that!
But that was not when he became woke. Turn to Genesis 35.3 – later in life, he returns to Bethel and builds an altar to worship the Lord. He builds an altar to the God who answered him in his distress. But don’t miss this – he worships God who “has been with me wherever I have gone.” WOW – He is “Woke On Wonder”! He realizes, and I hope you do too, God is not restrained to a location, not limited by geography, nor restricted to a map – but He is the God who is always with you, always there, never leaving or forsaking. God is not only to be worshiped in a church building, but to be worshiped everywhere – for He is everywhere.
When you get woke on that reality, realizing His greatness is at every step your journey takes you – work, school, church, Krogers, Starbucks, Chipotles, on I-95, or the back roads of Waxahachie, TX – God is there.
In my wilderness wanderings, He may be silent, but He is there. WOW!
So today, wherever you worship – remember His presence and be in Awe. But remember when you leave the building, He is still with you – and that is, well, WOW.
POST SCRIPT: In the next few weeks, we will look at music, corporate prayer, offerings, sermons, altar call/confession, Scripture reading, and more. I am stoked.
Also – (Please forgive me if you feel I am taking the word ‘woke’ away from its roots – I honor and respect that but also believe it has expanded to a larger cultural phenomena that this article will bring out in a spiritual dimension. English is a living, expanding language.)