Friday, August 13, 2010
Worship Is A Reponse
Psalm 117 is a simple, short call to worship.The call to worship is a call to move out of ourselves. It is not about how we feel, or what we think, or what we like.
Notice that worship is not something that begins with us. It’s not something we rev up in our own souls. Rather, worship begins with God, with his love and faithfulness. Our worship is always a response to God’s initiative and grace. Most of all, it responds to what God has done for us through Jesus Christ. In him we see and experience God’s unfailing love and enduring faithfulness.
This is why I object to any discussion of worship style that focuses on what appeals - it is simply the wrong question. Maybe I am just arguing about semantic purity, but when we design a service to appeal I do not think it is fair to call it worship anymore - outreach? - evangelism? Sure, absolutely, but worship it is not.
People who understand these things far better than I talk about the change in the arts in the last couple of centuries - that they have moved from trying to elevate us and to reveal God to us to being mere vehicles of commercial capitalization or self-expression. Much of what passes for worship in the church today has followed suit. There is a place for services of the type that dominate the church today, but we delude ourselves when we call it worship.
To truly worship we must have experienced God in new, stretching, sometimes difficult ways. We must be pulled out of ourselves and into His majestic presence.