October 26, 2011
Where True Worship Is Found
Alex Crain, Christianity.com
As a worship leader for my local church, I confess that weekly service planning and preparation can become routine at times. This week, I had one of those days of “worship-less worship planning.” Not proud of that fact, but I too often rely on experience, which has taught me how to put songs together for congregational singing. I easily get focused on the human activity side of things and forget the Holy Spirit. Change keys here. Do this musical transition there. Go into a refrain of old hymn and then back into the contemporary chorus that we started off with… In a way, I somehow think my role is to charm people into a ‘worshipful’ frame of mind.
This week, as I was thinking ahead to this coming Sunday and getting into planning mode, I found myself going on autopilot again. Then I recalled something: “Worship is found not in stained glass windows, candles, or altar pieces, not in experiences, but in communion with the God who is there—communion for eternity, and communion now with God as Abba Father.”
It wasn’t an audible voice. (I have suspicions about those.) Rather, it was something I’d stumbled across in chapter 10 of Francis Schaeffer’s True Spirituality (p. 317). By the way, when he says 'communion' he's not talking about taking the bread and cup of the Lord's Supper. He's talking about simply being with God, enjoying His presence, and knowing His blessing through faith in Christ. Again: “Worship is found not in stained glass windows, candles, or altar pieces, not in experiences, but in communion with the God who is there—communion for eternity, and communion now with God as Abba Father.”
Too often, communion with God is something that is assumed by me in my planning. I wrongly assume that the awareness of this blessing and unbreakable relationship with God is cultivated by every believer who comes to worship. I say ‘wrongly’ because I know of the numerous times that I, myself, fail to rely on God’s grace and be in regular communication with Him. I don’t intend to roll out of bed and into a church service with just about the same degree of preparation as I would for a ball game or a concert, but that’s exactly what I do at times.
“Be still and know that I am God,” says the Lord in Psalms 46:10.
By God’s grace, I need to resist the urge to justify my role as a worship leader by planning out every second. Not to be formulaic and reactionary, but this week, I’m allowing for indefinite times of silence and stillness. If we do less activity, make less noise, and acknowledge the presence of the God who is there, true worship can be found by just that—being still and knowing that He is God.
Intersecting Faith & Life
Today, fight the impulse to let distractedness and the hectic pace of life dictate your soul’s lack of calm and quiet dependence on God.
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