Worship is a Verb

"Worship is a verb. Worship is not something that is done to us or for us, but it is something that is done by us" Robert Webber

The concept of worship as a verb is as biblical as it gets. Throughout the Bible, there are directions to us like, “worship in spirit and truth” and “worship the Lord with gladness”. However, the modern church most often chooses to use the word as a noun.

The root of the word worship is certainly defined as a noun since it was used to describe a person of importance, worthy of extra respect. You can see it in books dealing with kings or magistrates when they are referred to as “Your Worship”. So technically, the word worship is a noun. Webster’s Dictionary identifies worship as a noun with a definition of “the act of showing respect and love for a god, especially by praying with other people who believe in the same god: the act of worshipping God or a god”. Or, worship can mean “excessive admiration for someone”. Some of us only use worship to describe a place we are going, often synonymous with the church, “I am going to worship today” or “What time do you go to worship?”. We can also use it to describe something we have seen but did not necessarily participate in such as “that was really great worship today”.

So what difference does the grammar lesson matter to us as modern Christians? Because for most of us a noun is something that we watch or a place we go to. A verb, however, is something that we do and worship is definitely something that the Bible says we should be doing, not watching! There are 254 occurrences of the word worship in the Bible and all of them are being used to refer to an action or a place where action happens.

The Bible says we are called to worship. Worship is a verb. It is meant to be practiced. Let us connect to God and to each other through worship, as we sing, pray, hear the Word of God and learn from the Bible, and we are sent to live and share the amazing love of God.

Bishop Josep Rosselló


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