A Contagious Worship


Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:16

I couldn’t have been more than eleven years old, standing with my parents in an old auditorium on a Saturday night with several hundred other people.  It wasn’t a concert – it wasn’t glamorous at all.  A couple people with guitars sang some songs about Jesus, and I have no idea who they were, but I vividly remember one song they sang that night:

“I love you Lord, and I lift my voice to worship You, oh my soul rejoice…”

I had been in worship services before, but something struck me.  As I looked around, I realized that nearly every person in that old building was standing to their feet, singing the words to this song, hands raised in the air.  Some sang loudly, some barely audibly, but the peaceful sound of voices filled that old building.  The hair on my neck stood up.  Something was happening, and I didn’t quite understand it, but I sensed it was amazing.

I truly believe that a life changed by and rooted in Jesus will overflow with worship.

Have you ever watched the sheer joy on a baby’s face when they’re looking into their mother’s eyes?  When the mother flashes a grin at her precious baby girl, and the little one responds with absolute enraptured wonder and delight?

That’s what I sensed that night, all those years ago.

All these people were responding with sheer wonder to the love of their Heavenly Father.  Their faces radiated absolute joy.  And just as a baby girl’s radiant grin is the joyous reflection of her mother’s smile, so these peoples’ joy was the visible reflection of their Father’s love. 

It reminds me of Exodus 34:29, where Moses “was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord.”  Another version says that “the skin of [Moses’] face shone.”  No one around him understood why, but they were seeing the reflection of God.

As an eleven-year-old kid, I didn’t understand it either.  I couldn’t see with my kid-sized eyes the Jesus they sang of – I could only see His reflection in their faces, in their songs, in their love.  I couldn’t have realized it then, and maybe they didn’t realize it either, but all those people singing in worship that night – some of them doubtlessly hurting, all of them dealing with struggles and everyday circumstances – they were pointing me to the object of their affection. 

They were pointing me to Jesus. 

Their songs, their love, their authenticity – it all pointed me to Jesus.

I truly believe that a life changed by and rooted in Jesus will overflow with gratefulness, with reverence, with love – with worship.  And by definition, that overflow of worship cannot stay contained!  It will get out!

It’s my deepest prayer that my worship – our worship – will not stay contained!  I pray that when I sing praise to the God who has saved my soul and given me a hope I’ll never deserve, that an eleven-year-old kid somewhere is pointed to Jesus.  In fact, I pray that worshipers around the world lift up the name of Jesus like never before in worship, and cause a whole generation to look toward Jesus.

Pure, Jesus-focused worship is contagious; it points people to a love more perfect than we could imagine, a grace so abounding that it could never run out, a God so accessible that He’s closer than our very skin.  Real, God-honoring worship is truly infectious because it sets front-and-center the One who is endlessly inviting (Matthew 11:28), and whose “lovingkindness is better than life” (Psalm 63:3).

Perhaps lift up a song of worship today with your kids, or put on music of praise in the background.  Or send a worship song to a friend who’s hurting.  The more we realize the extent of our God’s love, the deeper our worship becomes – the greater the overflow.  Allow it to overflow!

May our worship be rooted in the truth of the Bible, inspired by the very Spirit of God, and louder than ever before!