Photo by Milan Loiacono
What is worship?
The definition of worship can be anything and everything and it is different for every single person. It’s hard to convey someone’s deep connection to worship or their struggle in worship with a word limit and a page count. But we are hoping to plant seeds, be the next dinner conversation starter and expand your view of worship with this issue of Currents.
When I look at my spiritual journey, worship is the first place I defined my relationship with God and His worth to me. I found myself returning to the piano bench daily, playing and singing for hours and wishing I never had to leave. The piano bench is where He revealed my calling, where He partnered in prayer with me and where I started to hear the songs He was singing over me. The piano bench is where I found the love that became the home I carried with me. The relationship I found there is the place I live from. This relationship taught me to find my identity by resting in God. I worship God by finding as many outlets as I can to express my love for Him and in the process, I find the many ways He loves me.
When I look at traditions of faith, worship is something ingrained in the daily practices but not something that is clearly defined or taught. When I look at Pepperdine, worship brings people together across different spaces, denominations and even differing beliefs. We are surrounded by walking examples of different ways of worship. Isn’t that exciting?
As much as I have defined worship through my experiences with God, my definition only grows as I learn of the many ways my peers worship. We all come to worship in different ways and rather than dividing us as a people of faith or as humanity in general, worship brings us together and empowers us to love.
Worship expands beyond the confines of the Christian faith. We find the practice of other world religions on our campus. Worship goes beyond the confines of religion, it can be found in sports, body image and jazz. It takes stepping out of comfort zones and understanding someone else’s culture for us to grow in our own values. How people define worship reveals the values they carry, the morals behind their actions and the beliefs that shape the world they see.
In this issue, I hope to not only feature the many different ways of worship, but also to expand our definition of the word. Our definition can be shaped by the religions we practice and the religions we seek to understand. Our definition comes from our values, culture, ethnicity and sexuality.
These definitions ultimately help us understand where we direct our worship. They point toward the time, adoration and attention given to social media or maybe the internship we so desperately want. What we worship and how we worship is evident in the passions that fuel our dreams, the people we want to give a voice to and the places we see in need.
This magazine would not have been possible without the writers, photographers, designers, artists, editors and adviser, who made my vision come to life. Thank you all for being rockstars, inspiring me and keeping me grounded.
When reading this issue, I hope that you bring the desire to learn what worship means to someone else. Know that it could be different from what you are used to and maybe even contradict something you believe. Flip through with an open mind, knowing that your definition of worship might grow by the end.
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