I think I have finally got to grips with my objection to the teaching 'Worship is a lifestyle'.
As I have been trying to work out here, here and here, I know it misses something.
Steve Chalk reminded me that Jesus never asked us to Worship Him.
Why not? and why do we try to then?
Well, Jesus never asked us to worship Him because He came to serve and sent us to serve after him. He served because He was God and knew that to be equal to God, to have the Father's power, was not something to be misused (grasped) so to best reflect the Father, Jesus emptied Himself to become human.
(Why then do we not associate God the Father with serving???)
I have been listening to some teaching from Menlo Park Presbyterian Church recently and yesterday I had a 'penny drop' moment. Here goes:
Worship is not a life style, or at least a valid one, because it is not how Jesus lived. Jesus loved, served, led, taught, befriended, mourned, prayed, laughed (I hope!) wept (we know) and so much more. Maybe Worshipping is just more comfortable than serving and that's why we chose to spend more time talking about it and build/focus so much theology around it.
Worship is a gift to God. A chance to give back to God the thanks and praise he deserves. The use of song and other creative arts is therefore quite an obvious response. There is also no need to restrict this to a Sunday morning service.
Romans 12:1 is often quoted when people talk about Worship. It talks of giving our bodies as living sacrifices. This really means serving, giving up our plans and ambitions and following His. The bible calls this our 'spiritual act of Worship'. You can see where the line starts to get a bit blurry, but only if you place too high an emphasis on that one verse and ignore or bypass the rest of Jesus' teachings. After all, when Jesus was asked to boil down all of God's commandments, what did he say? Worship God? or Love God and other?
SO, service is a life style. It is the lifestyle, because it was His lifestyle.
(and why do we serve? because that's what Love does.)