Returning to the Heart of Worship

family worship

“You are a Child of GOD.” Sam Leonor’s words kept ringing in my head long after the first worship session of Georgia Cumberland GODencounters Conference had concluded. You are a child of GOD. You are a child of GOD.

sam preachingSam reflected on the Biblical account of the Israelite slaves who had lost their identity while making bricks for Egypt. They had forgotten their identity, consumed by the work that Pharaoh determined to have bind them. They lost themselves in their work.

Wow. It struck me how insidiously my identity has been stolen by what I do. Especially as a ordained minister, a seminary professor, a family life educator–bona-fide, certified, professionalized clergy– it has been all too easy to lose track of who I am.

“I am what I do.” “I am known by what I achieve.” “I identify with what I produce.” “I am defined by my work.” Lies, all lies.

As a beautiful Friday sunset arrived in Collegedale, Sam shared with all of us about the power of Sabbath to remind us of who we really are. Sabbath stops the madness of the world; It hushes the wheels of progress. Sabbath silences the noise of our work, so GOD can whisper in our ear,

“You are a child of GOD.”

What music to my heart! To know GOD identifies me as His own. From creation forward, He has not stopped reminding me of Whose I am.


The Collegedale Seventh-day Adventist Church, filled with the voices of hundreds of young adults adoring GOD with worship. As a co-ed in the 80s, I had my share of “services” in this beautiful church, but on this night, I lost track of time, space, and self. At the top of my lungs, I joined in with other GODfollowers to offer my songs of praise to the One who knows me by name. . . the One who knows who I really am.

On this night, we were not slaves. We were worshippers, returning to the heart of GOD.


About A Allan Martin, PhD

Jeremiah 24/7
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