Thursday, August 09, 2012
At The Center of Worship
For the last several days, I have been reflecting upon Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. Yesterday, I talked about how hard it can be to pray “Thy will be done.” Yet, through his example, Jesus shows us how essential this prayer is and he encourages us to surrender our will to that of our Heavenly Father.If you were to ask me to state one singe reason to prefer "traditional worship" to "contemporary worship" Mark has just put his finger on it.
Jesus also demonstrates the soul of worship. When we envision worship, chances are we think of celebratory singing or of people gathering to hear the Word of God proclaimed. To be sure, celebration and preaching are vital elements of worship. But they are not the soul, the center, the heart of worship. Rather, when you peel back the various expressions of worship to get to the core, you find surrender and submission.
Worship is not about us expressing, it is about God and us submitting to God. Merely in the act of chaanging the worship serevice to suit ourselves we change the focus of to ourselves instead of to God. The question in worship is not "What please men and women so they will come" but "What please God and teaches us to submit."
Liturgy and sacrament are about submission. When we make the "comfortable" we make them submit to us. This should be taught, and when taught, I think people will get it.