Buying Soup as a Sign of Worship (Cassandra Millis)

Have you ever met a celebrity that made you rather star-struck? I once found myself having dinner in the same restaurant as my favorite singer of all time- Matthew Thiessen of the band Relient K. I was shy and decided the best course of action was simply to ask the waiter if I could pick up his tab as a thank you for how much his music had impacted my life. The friend I was with, however, was not shy at all at the idea of meeting him. In insisted the waiter not tell Matt who had paid for his soup, (yes, I bought Matt Theissen soup) but she added “well… if he asks…” to which I promptly said “No, I want it to be anonymous.” The waiter listened to her instead.

Matt came over to thank us for our generosity and all of a sudden, my friend who was not timid whatsoever in telling the waiter to point us out became incapable of speech. I found myself stumbling over my words, trying to tell him about how the songs he had written had impacted my relationship with God and which ones were my favorites. Fortunately, Matt was about as awkward as I was but we got a nice picture with him and a story. I never considered myself someone who engaged in celebrity worship and yet meeting someone I deeply admired did not bring out my most charming side, or even my side that spoke coherent English.

An odd phrase sometimes used for this type of idolatry is “to kiss the ground they walk on.” I didn’t do that, but I definitely understood the idea. Everything about that night became special because I had found myself having a personal experience with Matt Theissen.

Proskuneo, the word for worship in Greek, is the idea of bowing oneself (laying prostrate) in front of someone, and kissing either the ground or their feet. It’s a personal experience of the deepest kind. It’s not just an action but an entire change in posture signifying that I am not this person’s equal. Not only does it show respect, but submission to their authority and power of your life.

As Presbyterians, we tend not to shake up our posture in worship. We’re either sitting or standing and maybe if you’re really feeling it at the bridge, you might clap along. There’s nothing wrong with that, and I’m a big believer in doing whatever makes you feel comfortable and not conforming if other people have their arms raised or are dancing around and you just don’t feel like doing the same (though it’s possible I attended a youth group in high school that made me feel guilty because I didn’t do those things and think I must not really love God because my arms would get tired if I tried to match what other people were doing. Yeah… that’s possible) but on the other hand, there is something beautiful about changing your entire bodily stance in recognition of who you are approaching in the act of worship.

No offense to whoever may be reading this, but God is your superior. He is everyone’s superior. We are completely dependent on Him not only for our creation but for every single breath of life. He has authority over everything and deserves as much praise as we could possibly give Him. He definitely deserves a more profound form of worship than just buying Him some soup.

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