Photo by Pixabay:Does God really need or want worship from us? If so, are current styles of worship anything close to what pleases God? What might be a better way to imagine worship? Didn’t Jesus put the kibosh on worship in the New Testament? What is all the “spirit and truth” worship he was talking about?
Worship was important to me as I was raised in fundamentalist, evangelicalism. Actually, my elders considered the worship service primary. As you know, it included public prayer, recitation, music and then a sermon. This was what we considered corporate worship, although we acknowledged that a person could worship anywhere. Worship was one of the big five purposes of the church. We were hoping to praise and acknowledge God for who He is.
Sometimes public worship could be very moving for me, and I’m not sure exactly why. Maybe it got past my watchful dragons that kept me from getting emotional. Often, it would help me forget about everything else much like meditation does now. Even the small churches we pastored were able to wrangle up a pretty respectable praise team and provide a fairly good little mini concert every Sunday that helped attract people and make them feel comfortable. We sometimes had the hymns and choruses battle, but mostly I headed that one off at the pass.
To be honest, I am bothered by modern worship. It tends to be very theatrical, even when it is a traditional format. It is a well-rehearsed performance, like the sermon, which is delivered with hopes of engagement by the congregation. Most of the energy, focus and function of most churches centers around this time period called the worship service.
It may have other names in varying denominations, and it may include many other things like communion, prayer, confession, and other traditional ceremonies. But primarily, its main hope is to honor God and serve the people that come because it is the way the church presents itself.
Since we have stopped going to church, we spend this worship time just being together, and doing various things like meditation, writing, having discussions on podcasts and being with nature. My prayer life is mostly in a process called centering prayer which I might mention later, but we don’t have many set practices as we are always discovering diverse ways to flourish and find God within ourselves and in our world.
Part 2 tomorrow
Be where you are,
Be who you are,
Be at peace.
Photo by Pixabay: https://www.pexels.com/photo/close-up-of-hands-257037/