Yesterday I had two very different experiences. In the afternoon, cars began arriving at my neighbor’s home. As guests poured into the house, the music roared full blast from the radio. The problem was that it blared from a car parked in their driveway, beneath my windows. The bass volume was so loud that my floors reverberated with every beat. I did not find the music enjoyable in the least, but decided not to interrupt the party to complain.
Earlier in the day, I had a better experience at church. Our music team closed the worship service with Jesus Culture’s “Awe.” Partway through the song, I noticed a little girl about eight months old being held in her daddy’s arms. When we sang, “Hands to the sky, Heart opened wide, I stand in awe of You,” she flung her little arms to the sky, palms open toward heaven. I thought of a verse from the Psalms with new understanding: “From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.” (Psalm 8:2, NIV) The young child had a beautiful way of worshiping God, and she was not shy about doing so.
One of Jesus’ friends, Mary of Bethany, also had a heart for worship. The gospel writer Luke records several stories about her. One day she sat at the feet of Jesus, listening to His every word. She was judged by her sister Martha for not helping to prepare a meal for Jesus and His disciples. But Jesus said Mary was making a good choice in spending time with Him. Another time Mary poured expensive perfume on Jesus’ feet and wiped them with her hair. She was criticized for being extravagant, and she was chided for not selling the perfume and giving the money to the poor. Jesus, however, praised her worship, saying that the perfume was intended to be used at His death.
How might we follow Mary’s example? Are there times in which we can worship with abandon, as the little child at church? Are there ways in which we can worship extravagantly, as Mary did? Can we just stop and stand in awe of Jesus? Let’s say with the Psalmist, “Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.” (Psalm 103:1, NIV) Some may criticize, but Jesus is so worthy of our worship!