Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Worship ?

I’ve been thinking about worship a bit recently, Rhett got me started with his comment on an interview with Tree63, and then Christianity Today followed up with a similarly disturbing trend; where they discovered that when talking to artists about the weaker tracks on their new albums, a common reply was, "Oh, that song was added to the album at the last minute. The record label wanted a certain number of worship songs for potential radio play."

Ouch. Worship as a commercial commodity?

So what is the state of worship music at the moment? I read an interesting article by John Mortensen about the text or worship.

That combined with having to pick two worship songs for our Cell Group last week, and wanting to do some thing different got me looking at the lyrics and the meaning behind a couple of David Crowder*Band songs.

And then on Sunday Brett spoke on Acts 2:46:

They followed a daily discipline of worship in the Temple followed by meals at home, every meal a celebration, exuberant and joyful.

Whoa. A daily discipline of worship. Cool.

But how?

I think it requires a different focus on what worship is. Sure we worship God on a Sunday by singing. We can listen to worship albums to our hearts content, pretty much wherever we are.

wor·ship (wûrshp) n.

The reverent love and devotion accorded a deity, an idol, or a sacred object.

Love and devotion.

Love is an action, something you consciously do. So to worship daily, or even constantly we must be conscious of all of our decisions. As with a previous post on Sweatshops, worship can be about how we shop, what we buy and how it reflects our devotion to Jesus.

It can be how we spend our spare time, glued to the TV or doing something with a purpose. Sure you can watch TV with a purpose, but you’d have to be selective and purposeful in what you do watch.

Back to Acts 2:46, followed by meals at home, every meal a celebration… Sharing a meal with people, and having the meal as a celebration, a celebration of Jesus, possibly even the meeting, talking and listening to each other – leading to helping with any needs – could this too be a form of worship?

Does this mean we should have people over for dinner on a regular basis, just to worship together in different ways? This would also be a great way of building community, as we start to meet on a more personal level and outside of the Sunday church experience.

Now I’m not hinting at anyone to invite me (and my family) round for a meal, it’s just a concept that has come from my interpretation of the passage. In fact maybe I’ll be inviting you over for dinner some time soon.

But anyway, I mentioned the David Crowder*Band, and I’m gonna leave you with the lyrics of one of his songs and the meaning behind it.


Come Awake

Are we left here on our own?
Can you feel when your last breath is gone?
Night is weighing heavy now
Be quiet and wait for a voice that will say

Come awake, from sleep arise
You were dead, become alive
Wake up, wake up, open your eyes
Climb from your grave into the light
Bring us back to life
You are not the only one who feels like the only one

Night soon will be lifted, friend
Just be quiet and wait for a voice that will say
Rise, rise, to life, to life

Light will shine
Love will rise
Light will shine, shine, shine, shine
He’s shining on us now

Behind the Song:
“I don’t want to leave you,” she said.
“I know,” he said.
“Why? Why must it be this way?” She asked.
“I don’t know, “ he said.

Her eyes closed. They were heavy. And these thoughts were heavy. And she was tired. She wasn’t scared but she was tired. He was tired. His heart was heavy. He was scared.

“I’m so tired,” she said.
“So am I,” he said.
“It will be soon,” she said.
“I know,” he said.

“I’m glad. It will be just in time. I’m just so tired. And the weight is so heavy. In my chest. I’m ready for things to be lighter,' she said.

“I know,” he said.
“I will miss you. I think. I hope. I love it here. But I’m so tired,” she said.
“I know,” he said.

“I’m not scared. It’s not that I’m afraid; it’s just that I don’t want to leave. I mean I do. I want to go to heaven. I’m certain it is beautiful. But I love your face. I just don’t want to die. It sounds so final. And I just don’t want to leave you. I don’t want to leave all of this. I mean I do, some of it, this weight. This pain. These tubes. And that stupid blinking thing that keeps getting lighter and quieter,” she said, her eyes opening, resting on the screen beside her.

He turned to look at the green blips of flat valleys and sharp peaks and wondered how long he’d stared at the monitor in total. He considered that if he were to count the minutes his eyes had rested on her pulse for these months it would add up to more than was comfortable to think about. Hours. Sitting. Watching life. Her life. Blinking from a screen. She was alive. She was here. With him. He remembered the night the peaks stopped for the first time. The long unwavering tone that was the loudest sound he’d ever heard. How it had brought so many people rushing about. All with the hopes to bring the screen back to vivacity. Everyone working furiously. Everyone’s eyes resting on the screen. He knew, when it came, he would stay in that loud unwavering monotone valley for the rest of his existence. He was scared. It was coming. Soon.

“I know,” he said.
“It will be ok,” she said.
“I know,” he said.

Her eyes had moved from the screen to his face. She loved his face. It was full of lines, deep lines that she had watched come, everyone of them. When she had seen him for the first time, so many years ago, his skin was smooth, so smooth for such a hardened boy. But the years had come and left their mark and she had been there for their arrival. She was worn into each of them.

“You know none of us are getting out of here alive,” she said.

“I wonder,” he whispered back...

- David Crowder


jeanie said...

Since being at cession I've been totally digging this "community" business. And it's great. Not only am I on the giving end of the stick, I am also on the receiving end. It's a two way thing and it's been such a blessing to be on both ends.

And I love having people around for dinner and going to people's places for dinner. And I guess the whole concept of chow is the instituitionalization of community. And it's working!

BJ said...

Hey, that was a great post! Its funny: we often think about Sunday worship flowing through the week that follows...when the reality is that its our Sunday worship that caps our week of worship. When there's a disconnect between our lifestyle of worship and our discipline of corporate worship, then there's a problem. I should blog on this...but I'm think I'm a better comment blogger than a real blogger!

Rhett said...

David Crowder writes the most inspired worship music that I've yet heard.

I love that album.

... and I think I know why Brett doesn't blog anymore: he doesn't like COMMUNITY!!!!