The Leprosy Mission produces an internal daily devotional guide, The Bridge, for use in offices, hospitals, clinics and projects around the world. Current and former staff and trustees from many countries contribute to the guide. We will share with you contributions made by our staff team.
Are you a ‘wave your hands in the air’ or a ‘sit on your hands’ style of worshipper? When Leprosy Mission staff and volunteers come together to worship, you notice how different we are. For example, our staff and volunteer team in Scotland is diverse: Baptist, Brethren, Catholic, Church of Scotland, Episcopal, Independent, United Free … Individual styles of worship may differ, but we are united by our Christian faith and commitment to seeing leprosy defeated and lives transformed.
Today, I want to talk to you about worship. Worship or praise are two words we often use in Church settings, but what do they mean? The dictionary tells us that praise takes 2 steps: think and show.
Think – you must think something is really great. Show – you must show your praise
Outside of Church and The Leprosy Mission, there are many ways we show praise. You like going to concerts and hearing someone sing. When a singer sings a well-known song, you clap or give them a round of applause.
You like to read. When you really like a book, you cannot put it down as you enjoy it so much. When you pass on a book, you are recommending it.
You go to a museum or art gallery. When you see a painting or an object you really like, you stop and admire it. When we’re around people, the noisier we tend to be in our appreciation and the more we can express ourselves. But no one way of praising is better than another.
If people and things are worth praising because of their skill or their creativity, how much more is God, the Creator of everything? We don’t scream and shout when we see a beautiful sunset, or applaud a bird singing, but we may pause to appreciate them.
The Bible is full of ways people have praised God, especially the book of Psalms. In Psalm 150, people praise God with music and dancing – like cheering at a football match. In Psalm 8, David praises God as he gazes at the stars – like pausing to admire a painting. In Psalm 78, they see the great things God has done and want to tell everyone about them – like recommending a good book.
How we praise depends on who we are, what we appreciate, whether we are alone or with a group of people. Praise makes you feel good and draws you closer to the person you are praising; it creates a relationship between you. Praising God draws you closer to Him and prepares for the Holy Spirit to enter your Heart.
Go on, try praising God. Praise him for things you see in the natural world, people you appreciate, things He has done. Praise silently or in words or song. Whatever you do, keep praising!