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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Formula or Connection

I read this morning from Scripture, “God is Spirit, and his worshippers must worship in the Spirit and the truth” (John 4:24). It got me to thinking about worship. I been told on a number of occasions, “Sure wish church gets out in an hour or less.” I've even thought this also...many times.  It’s good thinking actually. I think people start to zone out at the one hour mark. But it also does lend itself to worship being more about a formula to make that happen, rather than worshipping in the Spirit. Now, I’ve also worshipped at a congregation that did that, and an hour and forty-five minutes later we were through. At times it didn’t feel that long, and at times it TOTALLY did. There are a lot of reasons for creating worship based on a formula. It’s easier. It’s familiar. It’s comfortable. Many Lutherans follow a liturgy that one can follow to the tee. I think too, it also helps us to recapture moments in the past and try to recreate them.
But, as I was reminded in my reading, like all relationships, our relationship with God is meant to be progressive, not repetitive. Imagine doing the same thing every day, or every week with your best friend, or family for that matter. It would be dull. It would be shallow. It would be…well just plain boring. I believe we can engage with God through worship in different ways, using a range of dynamics. The most important thing about worship should be our engaging with God. It’s about our relationship with our Creator. When this happens, it matters a lot less if everyone hits the right note, or if the band hits the right solo at exactly the right time or even if the particular song is the one you want to sing. What matters is if worship is providing you a space to connect with God—it’s not a formula or a series of easy answers. I need to be reminded of this many times. What about you? What does worship look like to you?

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