Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Is worship more than songs?

I grew up in a church where “worship” consisted of 3 praise songs and 2 worship songs prior to the Sermon. Praise songs were catchy and may or may not have included drums.  Worship songs were introspective and slow in tempo. Each song was distinct and separate from the next, perhaps repeating the chorus a 2nd time, but no more than twice. If the worship experience was particularly meaningful, someone might have raised their hands, but everyone knew hand-raising wasn’t appropriate for every song. It’s a little different at the church I attend now, but only a little.

The problem is I can’t sing. Not even a little. And that makes me to be pitied most of all among Christians. It’s like a Canadian who can’t skate, or a Labrador who doesn’t like water. Lady Gaga was born with horns on her head, Christians were born to sing. What happens when you can’t?

The first time I heard the back story to Matt Redman’s song, “Heart of Worship”, I was intrigued. A whole church stopped playing music? What would that look like? Matt took the opportunity to pen the song, which includes this portion,

When the music fades, all is stripped away, and I simply come / Longing just to bring something that’s of worth that will bless your heart… / I’m coming back to the heart of worship, and it’s all about You, Jesus

Around the same time, God was building a new theology in me – living a life of worship. Again I questioned, what does that look like? Eric Liddell, a Scottish Olympian is quoted in the movie “Chariots of Fire” saying, “When I run, I feel His pleasure.” Isn’t that what worship is about? Giving God pleasure? Just like the song says, bringing something that’s of worth. If God has given us a gift, then that’s what we use to worship him because everything God gives us has worth.

God has recently given me a new form of worship – with flags. I have to admit, it was outside my box. Way outside. But when I watched other worshippers and their flags, I was mesmerized by the flow and beauty. I wanted to try but my own inhibitions held me back. Not long after the first introduction, I felt God say to me, Make flags and worship Me in private. I did, and now I have my own worship. I thought it was a gift I was giving to the Father, but in actuality, it is a gift He gave to me so that I could bring something that’s of worth.

What about you? How do you worship? What do you think of non-traditional ways of worship? What does a ‘life of worship’ mean to you? Answer in the comments.

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