I can’t believe I am old enough to say something like this, but here goes: I saw U2 in concert 22 years ago at the LA Coliseum and last night I saw them again in concert, but on YouTube.
Back in 1987 there was no Internet there was no other choice than to buy tickets and go to the Coliseum to see the band… not that I would have made any other choice. Last night I sat there watching Bono, The Edge, Adam, and Larry clear as day on my computer monitor and I couldn’t help but think, “Wow technology is changing everything.”
Then again as I sat there watching 96,000 fans who paid big bucks to sing along and experience the concert live I came to the realization nothing has really changed. We as human beings were made to worship… or as dictionary.com defines worship: to feel an adoring reverence or regard. Hang in there if I’ve lost you.
What are all of these people doing if not worshiping? What am I doing for that matter? Here are a few ways we show adoration, reverence or regard:
- Time: giving something your time is a huge part of worship. I live about 4 hours away from the Rose Bowl and have friends who made the trip for the concert. Add up the travel, parking, the concert, everything and you are talking about at least a 12 hour commitment. I myself watching it on my computer spent a good 2.5 hours. All of this time could have been spent another way, but we all chose to spend it adoring, reverencing, and regarding U2.
- Money: I read in the Orange County Register that average ticket prices for the concert were $185… wow! That is if you were able to get the tickets from a legitimate source. I’m sure the tickets were scalping for many times that amount. Again that money could have been spent another way (car payment?), but 96,000 people decided to spend it adoring, reverencing, and regarding U2.
- Posture: This one takes a bit of explaining, but look at the posture of the fans in attendance. Their physical presence and attitude. They are anything but stoic and limp; these people were into that concert! Lifting their hands, clapping, dancing, shouting, you name it; there is no other way of putting it but they were worshiping. As was I, although mostly foot tapping in my computer chair. Our body language helps us understand what we adore, revere, and have high regard for.
I am sure there is more I can say on this subject, but I am also sure you get my point. Nobody coerced any of the 96,000 fans to give up their hard earned cash (in a recession no less) or nag them to spend half of their day on U2 or to dance wildly and sing along; they willingly did it. Nobody had to write a commandment for millions of us to tune in to YouTube either; we did it naturally as if there was no other choice. Because there wasn’t one for those that love U2. Something inside of us just had to be there or watch it on YouTube. That something is the fact God made us to adore, revere, and hold certain things in high regard… mainly Him.
I like to think I can make up quotes; really I like to boil how I’m feeling or what I’m thinking down to one sentence if I can. The way I was feeling or what I was thinking last night was, “Everyone knows how to worship, few know who or what to ultimately worship.”
Look, I love U2. If I had a favorite band they would probably be it; there is just something about their lyrics and style that I just love. I could just as easily see myself in that throng of 96,000 people worshiping the band. But I hold ultimate worship, or worth-ship from the old English, to only One… Jesus Christ. A lot has changed since 1987, not just technology but also me. I once gave ultimate worship to many experiences like U2 concerts or parties or dating. But God invaded my life in a wonderful way in 1989 and now I can offer adoration, reverence, and regard to U2 and other things here on this earth; but my ultimate affections and worship belong only to God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The fact is those who have been changed by Jesus in this way naturally give of their Time, Money, and Posture to Him. Just like those who love U2 wouldn’t think about missing the event last night, no price was too high, no amount of time too difficult. Making a fool of myself dancing? No big deal.
A few weeks ago I made up another quote: “There is often a large chasm between should be and is.” That is true when it comes to giving ultimate worship to Jesus. Everyone should be giving Him everything and we all fall short of that. We often give our ultimate worship to so many lesser things and that is sad. I hope that Christian and non-Christian alike consider what we are doing with our time, money, and posture. I also hope that we all chose to point it all towards Jesus, the only person or thing that is worthy of it.