Worship as described in the book of Leviticus was a pretty complicated thing. As I listen, I’m faced with so many reasons that a sacrifice needed to be brought with so many different types of offerings for those various occasions – my head reels with the sheer extensiveness of the sacrificial system in those days. What a person needed to go through just to have a priest gain access to God on their behalf! And what that priest had to go through just to make sure they were not smitten dead on the spot when entering into God’s Presence!
The contrast between the way things are for us today and the way they were back then could not be starker. According to the book of Hebrews, we have direct access to the Holy of Holies through the blood of Jesus Christ. No further sacrifice is necessary, no cleansing ritual, no animal that needs to be killed – nothing. Worship has really become very simple for us: come. Just come. That is all.
Translating this to worship on a Sunday morning, this profoundly impacts the very heart of how we do what we do. Yes, we spice things up with drums and electric guitars and piano’s and vocals and choirs and organs. We have practices so everything will run smoothly so nobody will be bothered by wrong chords or notes, too loud guitars or too soft vocals or too whatever. We create an atmosphere, want people to lift their hands, enter in, and be impacted by the Presence of God. In between all of those things, however, we need to remind ourselves that it’s really quite simple: just come. Just worship.
I cannot count the times God has reminded me on Thursday night practices and Sunday morning services of this truth. Time and time again, I’ve heard God tell me, “Just worship me, Ben, I will take care of the rest. You don’t have to create anything – all you need to do is worship me.” And whether we sing old songs, new songs, have five instruments and ten vocals or one instrument and one vocal, He always does take care of the rest. All I need to do is come. Worship. Everything else is merely an aid to pull us away from the stink of ourselves and this world and focus our attention on Him. Don’t get me wrong, I love guitars, drums, new songs, old songs, vocals, and everything else that makes leading worship exciting. But we must never forget this one thing, namely that worship is simple – all we need to do is just come and worship. Everything else has been (and will be) taken care of.