Tuesday, 8 September 2015

More than music

This year as my family has travelled, we've visited several different churches and denominations. At one church, a significant portion of the service was comprised of "worship time," which was singing. We sang some repetitive songs while much of the congregation waved flags, danced across the stage and tearfully waved their arms. It all made me feel a bit uncomfortable because it was so different to what I'm used to, and frankly, some of it seemed like a choreographed show for our entertainment.
As I watched, I began to wonder, "Am I missing something? What is worship, really? What does the Bible actually say? Surely it's not just singing songs, because I really don't feel worshipful right now!"
I got my answer from Romans 12:1. It says, "Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship."
I didn't need to look any further. Worship is not the warm emotion of singing on Sunday morning. It's not telling God how great he is when we pray. Worship is the act of presenting my body, my actions, my life, as a sacrifice to God, every moment, whether you feel like it or not.
Steven Curtis Chapman's song, "Moment Made for Worshiping", sums it up very well.

6:30 Monday morning
I'm here hiding in my bed
A song plays on my alarm clock
As I cover up my head
But somewhere in the distance
I remember yesterday
Singing "Hallelujah"
Full of wonder, awe and grace
But now I'm just wondering
Why I don't feel anything
At all

This is a moment made for worshiping
Cause this is a moment I'm alive
And this is a moment I was made to sing
A song of living sacrifice
For every moment that I live and breathe
This is a moment made for worshiping

And as we've visited more churches, there has been a wide variety of music: upbeat choruses, hymns, and everything in between. I have personal preferences, as does every individual. Even within my family, we all have tendencies towards different songs and styles. But when I learned that worship is not music on a Sunday morning, I made another discovery: If music isn't our worship, it doesn't matter anymore whether it's your kind of music or a style that you find more difficult to relate to. The main thing is that we worship by presenting ourselves as living sacrifices, all the time.