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Put a bunch of Christians together around a meal table - Christians from various traditions and denominations - and I guarantee that one of the first topics or issues that will surface in the discussion will be music worship.

In fact, that was the case just last week when a number of Christians found themselves unexpectedly linked together for a week as part of a holiday group. As their Christian "identity" began to emerge during the first day or so, talk of their respective churches also surfaced and, predictably, our various personal preferences when it came to worship style, volume, repetition etc. were quickly placed on the table.

I deliberately use the term "music worship" because worship involves much more than music. We all pretty much agree with that distinction but we still persist in using "worship" to refer to the musical dimension of our faith. When I write about worship in this series of articles I will be referring to music worship even though I affirm that worship goes way beyond music, musical instruments, lyrics, singers etc.

Maybe that distinction is a good place to start. What do I mean when I talk about worship in its wider application?

Worship is the total response of our whole being to the revelation of God

Let me dismantle that definition so that my thinking on this subject might be a little clearer. I want to return to each of these dimensions as this series of articles unfolds but for now let me identify the various aspects and reserve the time to further explain them in due course.

a. "....the total response..."   

There is no aspect of our lives that can be excluded when we are talking about worship. Every response to life's opportunities, events, circumstances etc. is meant to be an expression or offering of worship.  

b. " whole being..."

We are called to love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength. Worship is the same (even if it is possible to draw a distinction between worship and love). It's obvious that worship can be expressed through our body, through our thought life, through our emotions and through our spirit.

c. " the revelation of God".

I believe that true worship is never an initiative that we take but a response that we make. Only as God takes the initiative and reveals Himself can we respond in worship. God's self-revelation is indispensible. To try and worship God without that revelation will inevitably result in an aberration of true worship.

My prayer is that the following reflections on the subject of worship will be stimulating, encouraging and informative. I invite you to journey with me.

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