Spiritual Practice


Erin Burke

When I was in high school, I traveled to South Africa on a mission trip. Some of my group attended worship at a church in a township outside of Johannesburg. Many of the people in the area were poor and lived in shacks made of cardboard and scrap metal. But they came to worship looking their best. They brought their songbooks and carried with them thick pillows to use as percussion instruments. We sang for what seemed like hours; and even though I didn’t understand the words, the voices were beautiful and full of spirit. When the time came to give an offering, they gave as much as they could muster. Then we sang some more.


Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering and come before him. Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.
1 Chronicles 16:29 (NIV)

So often, we go to worship with half-hearted commitment. We think about the chores and homework that need to be done or the football game that will be on TV. Worshiping in South Africa, with people who dressed their best and sang their best and gave their best, challenged me to give my all to God in worship.



shacks built next to church



MAKE A COMMITMENT: The next time you worship, put aside everything that distracts you and give your best to God.





(in forefront) homes of Erin’s new friends

—from devozine (July/August 2013). Copyright © 2013 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.
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