“Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.” (Genesis 8:20, NRSV)
The first thing Noah did after stepping out of the ark is built an altar.
Immediately, they worship.
On mission trips to Costa Rica, the team would worship with the hosting congregation. We were doing ministry in a little shantytown known as Los Diques. The first time I went on this mission trip, I was not ready for what I experienced. Worship was different from what most of us experienced in the States. And it was not just because it was in Spanish.
As people came into the small building, tracking dirt across the already dirt-covered concrete floor, they shuffled hand-made pink, wooden benches in place. The pink added color and joy to the worship space. There was no organ or piano. In fact, most of the time there was no guitar. We sang, and as the Spirit moved, the pastor would dance over to the congas and begin playing.
Worship is more than an event, it is a lifestyle.
Worship was filled with joy and thanksgiving. Life was hard for these people. Much harder than those of us in the mission team with our first world problems. Yet, their worship was so joyful. Their praise and worship of God exemplified their thankful disposition.
And that disposition did not end at the conclusion of worship. It was a way of life. Too often our praise and worship end when we leave church on Sunday morning.
Worship primes the heart for the Christian life. We are urged to be filled with the Holy Spirit during worship so that when we leave the church building we fill others with the love of Christ.
Noah built an altar. It was his first act leaving the ark.
As you step out of church this week, what will your first act be?