Why is worship important? What are you doing when you worship God?
The writer of Hebrews urges us to ‘worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for your “God is a consuming fire”’ (Hebrews 12:28–29).
The common theme in all three passages for today is Mount Zion (Psalm 126:1), ‘the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God’ (Hebrews 12:22), ‘the holy mount of God’ (Ezekiel 28:14,16). This is the place of the presence of God, where God is worshipped both in the old and new covenant. However, there is a difference between the two.
You no longer have to go to a specific physical place to experience the presence of God. Because of Jesus, the ‘mediator of a new covenant’ (Hebrews 12:24a), you can worship anywhere. Jesus is the one who has made this new relationship with God possible through his death on the cross for you and me.
Your ‘holy mountain’, where you can worship Jesus, is the whole earth, and this anticipates the ‘heavenly Jerusalem’ we read about in our passage from Hebrews, and which is described in Revelation 21 – the new heaven and new earth.
As you draw close to Jesus in worship there are, as C.H. Spurgeon pointed out, ‘three results of nearness to Jesus’ – happiness, holiness and humility.