Friday, March 23, 2007

Come - just as you are - to worship

Worship. What does that mean? So often worship is inexorably tied to music. This past weekend was an affirmation to me that indeed, music is not the only way to worship. For years music was the way I worshipped. I don't really want to get into all of that. I'm just mentioning that because it's often the perception that music = worship. Think about our terminology - "praise and worship", or the "worship leader", the "worship team" - all usually referencing music. Music is worship in that it is one form of worship. But certainly there are many other ways. I was an active participant on a worship team. Music was part of me. Then, through circumstances I was removed from music as worship. Both from a leadership position, and then from just music the way I was used to participating in it. My soul felt dry and hard. It could be so bad at times that I'd have to make occasional trips to Willow Creek to refill, get my fix. Silly. But, honestly, I still do at times. I still feel that need.

But when you think about worship - it should be a natural part of each day. Something that flows from us in whatever we do. There can be formal settings - sure. We worship in our churches - and depending on our church this can take many forms. Lectio Devina, art, prayer, centering prayer, communion - all fairly traditional. But we are to be living and breathing worship. In all we do. Whether it's cleaning the house, or helping a friend. It's like praying without ceasing. God is everywhere, in everything. How can we not worship? Mundane tasks? He is there. Stressful situations, he is there. Parties and good times, he's there. Driving the car, weeding the garden, washing the dishes. He's there. We just need to refocus our minds on the good, and the holy in everyday situations. Why we are doing the task? Out of love, or out of duty? Not so easy to be sure. But what an opportunity to connect to God! As for formal worship - I know there are other really cool avenues out there. We just need to restructure our thinking. Be creative. Be curious. Pursue it. What does worship look like? What are new and unique ways to worship? If we break the box of traditional worship, what is out there waiting that we have never considered? I'm still thinking. Processing. Waiting.

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