But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.” [John 4:23-24 (NLT)]
One Sunday, someone said to me, “It’s so much fun to come to church that it almost feels like a sin!” and I wondered whether worship should be fun. Looking in my NLT Bible, except for Solomon’s words in Ecclesiastes directing us to have fun, the word “fun” is used in a negative sense, as in “making fun” of someone. Moreover, the closest we get to the mention of amusement, recreation or vacation is when Jesus suggests to the disciples that they go off to a quiet place and rest. By “fun,” if we mean mere amusement, Scripture doesn’t indicate that fun and worship go hand in hand. If, however, by “fun” we mean its broader definition of enjoyable, pleasurable, joyful, and exciting, worship can and should be all that and more! Fortunately, it’s no sin to have fun in church! As I pondered fun and worship, however, I came to another question posed by Pastor Bob Kauflin: “Should our fun be worship?” There’s an interesting (and somewhat convicting) query.
Worship doesn’t occur only on Sunday mornings. It is not limited to singing hymns, reciting a creed, reading a Psalm, listening to a sermon, volunteering, Bible study, praying or tithing. Worship is far more than an act; it is an attitude. We are called to worship God “in spirit and in truth” which means we worship with our entire lives. True worship involves our heart and soul—it means we walk in His way and honor Him with our actions in church, work and leisure. We worship Him by living a life of holiness.
Since God’s Holy Spirit lives in us, we should live in a way that corresponds to His nature. That’s a tall order for any of us and leads me back to Kauflin’s question—when we have fun, is our fun worship? Do our leisure activities bring glory to God? Do we choose our reading material or TV shows with God in mind? When we’re with our friends, do our words and actions give evidence of God’s presence? When we tell jokes or laugh at them, does that humor venerate Him? Does the way we choose to compete in sports honor God? Do we pack God in our bag and take Him with us on the cruise or to the gym, tennis court or golf course? When we choose our leisure activities, do we leave God back home with the neck tie, work clothes and briefcase? It’s been said about Las Vegas that, “What happens here, stays here!” Let us remember that what we do everywhere is the way we’ve chosen to worship our Lord.
As I walked through the park this morning, I questioned if my fun was worshipful of God. I paused to thank Him for the playful otters, praised Him for the chorus of song birds, and thought about the way His word brings light to my life. This morning, I consciously made my fun become worship. I wonder, however, about tomorrow and the next day. Will I be as mindful to make my actions bring glory to God? The question no longer is whether our fun should be worship; the question now is whether or not our fun actually is worship!