Ecstatic worship services are the rage now, often times seen in more charismatic and pentecostal circles. I do not disparage them whatsoever, as I have been known to enjoy such a service – although not in a charismatic or pentecostal fellowship – a time or two.The songs are lively, loud, and repetitive. They generally focus on the power of God, don’t they?
Others worship rather, well, dryly, singing the old hymns. Generally organized around a choir, focused more theologically.
So, I’ve sung both songs, although not very well. I’ve okay in both types of services – the loud, not the stupid, and the quite, not the boring. But, my favorite type of worship is, as Dr. Cargill wrote, reason. I love to Reason with the Word. For me, I believe that there is still a presence to be felt in the worship of God, and I can feel that presence without a song. Sometimes, there is a presence in a book that I’ve read, or a blog post, or just picking up the bible and reading a passage. The other day, I read 1st Peter 1 in the New Living Translation which I keep on my desk, and there it was, a presence of God.
He goes on to write,
a life of faith is not about a set of orthodox beliefs, but a set of adopted behaviors that rejects complacency and instead embraces a life dedicated to solving problems, be they intellectual or practical, individual or social.
And let the congregation say amen!
I do not believe that the outlandish things you see people do in the name of ‘praise and worship’ is glorifying God at all. Nor do I believe that it is limited to dry, boring recitation of doctrinal beliefs.
As one who believes in the Communication of Grace* through the two sacraments, baptism and the Eucharist, I find mediating upon them, and what they meant to the earliest followers of Jesus Christ and what they will mean to my children as something that gives me great joy. Listening to lectures – not sermons – builds up my faith because it is not in what I know that I trust, but in what I do not know.
Some see worship as a vocal means, often loud and unruly, but there must be room for worship in the quite, the still small place where the still small voice can speak. Worship is not always about speaking to God, but God speaking to you, you hearing Him, and being in His will.
Personally, in a congregational setting, I want liberty and liturgy, but we’ll see.
So, who do you worship?