Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Anyplace Anytime

“He went by stages from the Negev to Bethel, to the place between Bethel and Ai where his tend had formerly been, to the site where he had built the altar. And Abram worshiped the Lord there.” (Genesis 13:3-4)

After his arrival in Canaan, Abram built an altar and worshiped God there, between the villages of Bethel and Ai. A famine drove him and those with him to Egypt where the “Sarah-Pharoah” debacle occurred, and from there Abram and company returned to Canaan to the place where he had first built an altar between Bethel and Ai. There Abram worshiped the Lord. Later, when he moved to the Oaks of Mamre near Hebron, he built and altar there also and worshiped the Lord.

We learn something very important about worship from Abram. We can worship God wherever we are, or wherever we go. He built an altar, presumably for sacrifice, wherever he went to express his worship. This suggests that the place of worship is not necessarily the most critical aspect of worship, although we should all have a place where we can personally worship the Lord. Place is relevant but not critical. It also suggests to us that the form of worship is not its most critical aspect either, though there should be some form to it. Form also is relevant but not critical.

The purest worship is often the simplest.

Lord, May our daily worship before You not be encumbered by questions of place and form or anything else. Help us instead to come before You in simplicity to worship You from the heart, for Your glory. Amen.

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