January 5, 2006

Right Target, Wrong Focus (Part 1)

This is definitely a post where I am in water over my head, and I am struggling to stay afloat. Yet I cannot help but make a few observations. It is obvious that the word "worship" is being used an awful lot. You cannot look for 5 seconds in a Christian bookstore without the word getting your attention. Morning service is now called by some "worship." Right now, Worship is familiar to mostly all Christians, especially those in more progressive churches.

What then is my criticism? Good question! I hope I know the answer. It seems that when the word worship it used, people give it attention. They treat anything with the worship label very differently. Now, it does not bother me that people are concerned about worship, or that they deem it important. However, maybe we are worshiping worship and not really worshiping God. Why do I say this? Lately, I get the idea that some people associate worship with an activity that involves a 'worshiped-labeled' item.

Examples:

- Singing a praise and worship song (or a hymn, for that matter) does not necessarily mean that you have worshiped God.

- Raising your hands or crying does not necessarily indicate true worship.

- You may even attend 'worship' and leave having not worshiped God.

I hope these are not alarming. However, it may be good if they are. I would make the assertion that alot of times we attempt 'instant worship.' Here's what I mean:
  • You work all week. By Friday, you are pretty worn out, with good reason. But hey! Saturday is your day, right? It's really the 'only free day of the week.' You go shopping and have friends over that night. You talk till 1 AM, because, hey! it's your day. You go to sleep saturday night almost dreading the fact that Sunday School/ABF starts 'amazingly' early. (even though it's at least an hour later than when most people have to be at work) The alarm rings Sunday morning, and you're exhausted. You scramble to get to church on time, but you walk into church like you are so excited. You sing, pray, listen and leave, and somehow it pleases you that you successfully made it through 'worship.'

I think about it this way: If I had tickets to a big game, I would anticipate it all week. I would think in my mind how awesome it would be. I would make sure all plans were made beforehand, etc. Yet when it's time to meet as a local body of believers in the house of God to truly worship, it almost seems as if Sunday morning catches me by surprise. WHY??? Well, worship is not easy; it's definitely not passive.

***Part 2 will hopefully arrive by the end of the week.***