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Worship satisfies
August 31, 2009
by Rev. Lee Hallstrom, Light of Christ Lutheran Church, Delano

As a child, I felt all the normal frustrations that children can have about attending weekly worship.

My parents faithfully brought me each and every Sunday, but that certainly wasn’t without some opposition on my part. I know I voiced these concerns to them: “it’s boring,” “it’s too long,” “I don’t want to sit that long,” etc.

Something changed, however, when I was in my later high school years. Worship was no longer drudgery, but it became a welcome part of my week. Now, as an adult, it’s one the highpoints of my week.

Of all the creatures on earth, only human beings worship. The phenomenon of worship is universal. There have been, from time to time, governments and societies that have ridiculed or outlawed worship – none of them have lasted.

I believe it was the philosopher Pascal who wrote, “There is a God-shaped vacuum in every person that only God can fill.”

As we gather with our faith community, worship becomes for us a “sacred space.” The grandest cathedrals of Europe, the white-washed steeple churches of the rural areas, and the mega-church assembly halls around the world all share this one thing: they provide sacred space for people to worship.

Worship makes church “the house of the Lord.” And worship, alone, satisfies the spiritual longing of the human heart.

My experience is that, at least once, in every worship service, God will touch my heart and I will forget that I’m a pastor leading worship, and I will simply worship with everyone else. Sometimes, it comes with the music; sometimes, in the prayers, and sometimes, it happens in the reading and preaching of God’s Word.

These precious moments remind me of why I became a pastor in the first place: worship is our holy contact with the Living God. So, I echo the words of the psalmist in Psalms 122:1, “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord.’”