Christianity 201

November 5, 2017

Sunday Worship

This week I struggled with something I felt strongly I was to include here, but I was hoping to find an article that someone had already written covering this topic. You’ll see the irony of that in a minute.

As I combed through various sources for an hour, it struck me (especially considering one of our mandates here is to not restrict the word worship to a music-related definition) that there are may ways we can express worship to God.

For awhile, I looked at the idea of kneeling. In my own paraphrase of the Philippian Hymn in chapter 2 of the epistle by the same name, I have rendered it as,

Everyone will kneel in physical submission
Everyone will confess in verbal declaration
That Jesus Christ is Lord.

But as I looked at this more closely, I felt the issue was not body posture but rather the idea of a creative expression. Let me explain…

…For the most part, much of what we do as Christians is about words. (That’s problematic at some levels, but let’s press on.) So we write songs and we write poetry and we write expositions of scripture and we write sermons.

But who is we? Do you write songs? Do you write blog posts or devotionals or even letters of encouragement to those in need of such?

It occurred to me that in the modern church a whole lot of what we do in worship involves utilizing forms that someone else has created.

Isaiah 42:10 says,

Sing to the Lord a new song, and His praise from the end of the earth!

This wording is consistent in every translation showing at Bible Gateway. Where are these new songs going to come from? (How shall they be new unless someone writes them?) One translation — name long forgotten — rendered this as “Create new songs of praise…”

…Well, maybe I missed something. The Voice version of the Bible has the verse as,

So make up a song like none other

Because it’s an outlier with this wording, I don’t want to give too much weight to this one translation, but I like how it suggests more than just repeating someone else’s words. It’s suggestion that we be part of the creation of the words sung.

That’s what I feel God is telling me today. We can’t be content to have our worship be reading someone else’s words out of the prayer book, the church order of service, the hymnbook or off the screen.

It’s great that we have everything from cantors to worship leaders to give us the vehicles through which we can express worship to him, but God wants to know what you’re thinking;  what you have to say to him.