The message yesterday was about the difference between forms of worship and worship itself. Pastor Jeff used the vivid image of kissing to describe our response to God’s love. He explained that giving his wife a kiss every evening is one way to let her know he loves her. He went on to describe how worship can become a routine little kiss if it is only about the kiss. Worship comes in many forms, and love is expressed in a variety of ways. The point of the message was the heart behind the kiss makes all the difference, and the same is true as I worship God. The message opened up a flood gate in my heart that reminded me of the kisses I’ve received and how they reflect the way I’ve worshipped.
As a young teen, I remember my first kiss. It was at a neighborhood party when we were playing spin the bottle. If you’re too young to know that game, I’ll explain. Soft drinks came in glass bottles then, and we would take an empty bottle and place it on the floor. We sat in a circle around the bottle, and some brave soul gave the bottle it’s first spin. When the bottle stopped spinning, the person spinning it had to kiss the person the bottle was pointing to. Baron was spinning, and my heart was pounding. He was so cute, and I was praying that bottle would point to me. When it did, I got my first kiss. It was so sweet and led to a brief, but beautiful little romance. I thank God for those sweet, innocent kisses that made me want to be kissed. God wants to be kissed too, but I’m afraid I’ve not been a very good kisser when it comes to responding to His love. When I think of my very first kisses, I am reminded that sometimes my worship is all about me being kissed.
Sometimes, kissing is simply a stepping stone. I’ve had too many experiences with those kisses. Many were harsh experience that left me feeling emptied and used. Perfunctory kisses are superficial at best and apathetic at worst, and I’ve experienced what seemed a lifetime of them. I’m only kissing you because I have to in order to get what I want. Those kisses are the worst, but I’m sorry to say that I’ve kissed God the very same way. I’m enduring this because I know I have to. When I think about those years of worship, my heart sinks. I did what I had to do, and that is not what love, worship, or kisses should be about. I’ve had kisses that were filled with passion but still simply a stepping stone. No matter what form the perfunctory kisses take, they still are all about getting what I want. Being on the receiving end of those kisses isn’t pleasant, and I’m sure God completely understands because I’ve kissed Him far too many times with what I want in mind.
The best kiss comes from two hearts filled with love, and there aren’t words to adequately describe the feeling it gives. Fairy tales try to capture the feeling of true love’s kiss, but it cannot be understood until experienced. Kisses that connect hearts heal as nothing else can and leave me wanting everyone to know the feeling. Love no longer is about me. It becomes about the other, and that is what worship is all about. God’s heart is filled with love for all, and magic happens when my heart connects with His. Kissing God is like kissing others; it can be perfunctory or it can be perfect. The choice is mine. It’s always perfect on God’s side, so I’m the one who has to change the way I kiss. When I love God with abandon and join with others to praise and worship Him, it is the ultimate kiss that makes me forget about me and focus upon God and the love He has in mind for His world. As I sat by the fire singing praise songs last night, I was kissing God with abandon. It was an exquisite feeling that left me wanting more. It’s precisely what worship is meant to do to the heart. Form may vary when it comes to worship, but love is steadfast and grows each time I praise God from the bottom of my heart.