advent, Christmas, cultivate, garden, worship

Come to the Garden

And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

-C. Austin Miles

Come, let us worship and bow down;
Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker.
For He is our God,
And we are the people of His pasture,
and the sheep of His hand.
Psalm 95: 6-7 NASB

Did you know that in Latin there is a verb that means both to till and to worship? When I first came across this verb I was perplexed as how one word could mean both things. I know words can have multiple meanings, but I was intrigued by this particular verb.

As a full time student this semester, I have had less time to just sit and reflect. Over the years I have developed this habit of being, but it did not come naturally. I had to cultivate a taste for solitude. So in one of my desperate moments this autumn, I cried out for some connection with God as I trekked to the secular world each day.

On a certain day, the answer to my curiosity about the verb was delivered to me by my professor. My question was unknown to her, but God had heard my musings, and right there in the middle of class he arrived. We were translating a sentence with the word “colo” in it, and she said, “Do you know why this verb means to till and to worship?” I wanted to shout, “No, but please do tell us!”

To worship someone is to cultivate a relationship. In Roman times they worshipped to curry favor from the gods in order to have a great harvest. Well, my mind went directly to the LORD my Maker, and I rejoiced in this seeming trivia about a word that is now impacting my experience and understanding of worship.

When I worship the Savior, I am cultivating our relationship, not so much to gain favor, but to grow closer to Him, and his purposes for everything. So now when I sing a song at church, I am not just repeating the words or enjoying the melody, I am thinking about Him. This song is for you, LORD! I love you, Jesus! Worship is more than singing, I can also worship Him by daily giving my heart over to him anew and acknowledging our relationship.

I know it doesn’t seem like good weather for gardening, but why not do some cultivating along with your worship of the Savior this season, and see what kind of harvest He produces.

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