“He [Christ] is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell…”. (Colossians 1:18-19, NRSV).
Today, people “shop” for a worship “experience” like they shop for a flat-screen TV, a car, an education, a relationship, or an insurance policy. When the worship experience is “cool,” “on the cutting edge of technology,” “or it meets some kind of emotional safety code,” then it is generally assessed these days as a good experience. Throughout the ages, a battled has raged how one should worship, when one should worship, who should speak or not speak in the services, what songs should be sung, what should be preached, and not today, what is the role of technology in our worship? Has Christ been left out of all of this?
Jesus said it this way in Mark 7:6-7 quoting the prophet Isaiah: “This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching human precepts as doctrines.'
Jesus places the focus on the heart of a person, not outward forms or traditions. In the Isaiah context, the Hebrew translation of this verse (Isaiah 29:13) is “This people glorifies me with their mouth but their fear of me is a learned human commandment.” Is our giving glory to God something we have learned to do from human beings, or is it something that we genuinely give from our heart?
Christ-centered worship only comes from the heart, enabled by the Spirit (Philippians 3:3)-”we worship in/by/through the Spirit of God.” While many have been taught that certain “forms” or worship are 'correct' and others are 'incorrect,' these only amount in the end to traditions taught by human beings-the very thing that Jesus speaks against. Jesus isn't primarily interested in form, he is interested in content!
The question is simply this: when we come to worship what is in our heart? Why are we coming? Who is at the center of our focus? Each other, or Christ?