I was in service yesterday with my kiddos and witnessed the perfect analogy for what worship is, so I had to share!
I don't remember if I've mentioned before, but in an effort to teach the kids of our church a) that they can worship God at any age and b) how to worship, I meet them up front at the alter every week and we worship together. Occasionally parents join us. Sometimes, with the younger kids especially, it's a time of them dancing and clapping during the fast songs, then me telling them to stop playing during the slower songs. But as long as they're not being disruptive to the other people, I don't mind if they just stand there looking around. The way I see it, they're learning about worship, learning that worship time is not play time, that it's something they can participate in. And, my favorite reason for having them up front is because it brings them to a position to have an encounter with the Lord that will change their lives like nothing else will.
So yesterday. One of my little boys has had a habit lately of bringing toys to church, and bringing them up to the alter with him to play, which of course I tell him not to. I sometimes feel like I'm constantly reminding kids why worshiping at the front is special! Anyways. This little four year old boy came up with his two cars, left them on the alter near the pulpit, and came to stand next to me. This was big for a few reasons. First, it's hard to come between a boy and his cars (this is true for big boys with big cars, as well). Second, he came to the front without his big sister, all by himself.
Watching this little boy worship God, literally leaving his most precious items at the alter, was amazing. It's such a picture of what we need to do. When we come to God in worship, it's not for us. It's for Him. It's a time to lay down our "toy cars", whatever our precious things may be: our worries, our emotions, our loved ones, everything we hold dear to worship the God of the Universe. There's no better picture in my mind for this than this little boy leaving his toys at the alter. May we all be able to serve the Lord with this kind of abandon.
Matthew 18:3 "And he said: 'I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.'"