Friday, July 29, 2011
Thursday, July 07, 2011
Last night in the combined Bible class we dared to broach the subject of worship! Instead of focusing on the 'how' questions, we focused on the 'why.' We were seeking to make connections between our worship of God and our life outside of worship. It seemed like many tables were having great discussion! I enjoyed our discussion.
As I prepared for this class, I was reminded of a previous blog post I wrote several years ago on a Monday. It reminds me of a couple of reasons why I have come to worship God. One is a completely unhealthy reason I sometimes come to worship (to be critical) and another is more healthy reason (to be moved by God). I have made a few edits...I hope you enjoy.
Being honest, I sat yesterday in our weekly Sunday service with a critical eye. I was going to see if 'they' could move me...whoever 'they' were. The service began normally. I had seen it before, heard it before, prayed it before, and gone through that motion before. I was wearing the t-shirt. As we progressed through the service, I found myself trying to focus on what was happening. However, I kept thinking about me doing what I was doing. Nothing was moving me at all. I was anticipating after service when I could tell someone (probably Tanya) how 'they' never moved me in that worship. Time for the invitation song.
"Lay Your Burdens Down..." the song begins. As I stood to let other people respond (obviously excluding myself) to the message the thought occurred to me, "Why is this the song of invitation? It is such a great song!" I stood anyway, closed my eyes, sang, and was overwhelmed by a gracious, divine surprise.
This song moved me! Rather, God used this song to move me. Seriously...I was shaking by the end of the song. Oddly enough, I was still trying to stop shaking because I wanted to prove my point that nothing in the service could move me. Then I could wallow in my own self-absorption of an empty worship service. But, something else happened. I was moved. It was God. I could do nothing to stop it! Amazing!
Reflecting on this over the last day, I have learned how much I need to grow! Why am I coming to worship trying to prove that nothing will move me? I need to be seeking in coming to worship the very thing I was avoiding: God's presence. Yet, amazingly enough, God was gracious to allow a song to usher his presence into my life. How many times does God use songs to move me in worship? Too many.
Thank you, God, for being so gracious. Thank you for your patience with me. I need to grow so much. Let me continue to be aware of your presence in my life. May your praise be on my lips throughout the day. Keep me from the cynicism I experienced yesterday...all for your glory. You are the one I need. Let me seek you alone.
I wonder what are some reasons that you come to worship (good or bad, healthy or unhealthy)? Share in the comments section below.