Rethinking What it Means to Worship

Religious people often talk about worship. While I think many people consider worship a time to intimately connect with God, it seems that the majority of religious people consider worship to be just what it is defined as: “reverent honor and homage paid to God or a sacred personage, or to any object regarded as sacred” (

In our church we’ve started to get away from the word “worship,” and instead refer to our time together as “Connecting”—with each other and with God. We’ve started to do this because many of us come to “worship” in order to experience the loving and powerful presence of the one and only energy in the universe, which we have traditionally called “God.” We have started to evolve our image of God beyond an entity of some sort that requires homage—or else woe be unto us.

Unfortunately, our image of God has too often reflected our human self. God is humanoid, even in our classical paintings. God is emotional. God lives in Heaven. We worship God because we believe God demands worship, or bad things will happen to our planet and us. We claim to love God, but the truth is we’re afraid of God, and afraid that if we don’t worship correctly or say the right magic words, we’ll spend an eternity in Hell.

So, what if we started to think about God differently—not as a being who demands worship, but as an energy flow—a current, that is the creative being of all being? What if Jesus, and others like him, are simply perfect, conscious manifestations of this cosmic energy flow? Neither these perfected beings nor the energy flow itself needs or demands worship. Rather, both invite us into relationship—personal, intimate, perfected awareness of our being as the being of the universe.

It’s this conscious awareness of the flow of God that changes who we are, and how we perceive others. It’s the conscious understanding of God within everything and everyone that changes our world. It’s why Jesus was more concerned with the poor and disenfranchised than with his own well being. It’s why Jesus constantly says, “I and the Father are one.” He didn’t mean this in some supernatural, mythological way. This is an indication of his heightened consciousness—his awareness of who he truly was, and his way of letting us know who we all truly are as well. We are all one with the Father/Mother/Lover/Force that is God.

We can realize our Oneness with God in every bit the powerful and complete way as did Jesus Christ. 

My hope is that people of faith and the churches in which they gather will begin to move beyond worship and instead into very real, palpable experiences with God. The Infinite One is constantly present and ready to be switched on within us all. If we can get more people to switch on, the world around us will be changed in ways we’ve only dared to dream are possible. Switching on requires not worship, but relationship—with both God and every other human brother and sister on the planet. For in realizing Oneness, we come to recognize that there is no other, there is only all.

Meditation: I am one with God.

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