Five Minute Friday :: Worship

Time for Five-Minute Friday, which seems all I have time for these days! Hope over to Lisa-Jo’s place if you want to know more, and why not join in?

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Worship

 

I’ve been thinking about worship a lot recently. We call our singing worship. When we say worship that’s what most of us would think of straight away. Our singing, though, it seems to me is often the most pathetic form of worship. We stand, or sit, together in that room, singing words on a screen, letting them roll off our tongues, and feeling good because everyone else is doing the same. We lift our hands high to show we really mean it, and we tell of how much we love God, the Christ. In that room surrounded by others, maybe 10, maybe 1000, we do mean it. We love Yahweh, the God who created us, saved us, loves us, helps us. We look at the lives of those surrounding us, and we remember the stories, the ways in which God has intervened, sustained, held on; and we praise and we love.

But then

It’s over

That service where we are safe, surrounded by a Christian bubble, the sound of other people singing along with us is quiet, and we’re left alone in the world. Singing the tune of love alone, while others curse, and tear down, and hate. Now we have to love because we really love, not because we’re caught up in the bubble. Our love has to be more than a sweet song, it has to be actions.

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Our worship, our adoration of God needs to be more than a song. It needs to be my Monday morning joy as the alarm rings so early to start another week; and my Tuesday coffee break compassion as I pass by that homeless guy; and my Wednesday afternoon forgiveness as my boss expects me to stay late, again, without a please or a thank you; and my Thursday evening move to action as I see the child beaten by his mother; and my Friday late night resolve to be pure as others go out drinking and having sex; and my Saturday day off selflessness and serving, instead of claiming my time all for myself. If my worship can be all that, if my week can consist of loving God in my actions of the everyday, if my hours shout out my love of God, THEN, then, on Sunday, when I come into His house, and I lift my hands, and I sing out those words, I sing with commitment, I sing not because of the bubble, but because I am truly in love, I sing knowing my song will ring out once I’ve walked out the door and the darkness surrounds. Then my worship is full.

 

*I think corporate sung worship is great, please don’t get me wrong.

 


The Truth In His Word

I’m laying there trying to remember. Placing shards of memories next to each other, trying them out until I find a fit for this puzzle and the whole thing can start to take shape, take meaning. I grapple for understanding, desperate to find the cord that is wrapped so tightly around me that I may be able to loose it and be free. I fight hard to know what it is all about, I search frantically to find Him there, I shift my gaze anxiously trying to see the memories from His perspective.

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I try, I grapple, I fight, I search, I shift; and still there is no peace in the midst of the storm. Still I cannot hear His voice above the thunder and rain. Still I cannot see his face amongst the black clouds and lightening.

There is one more hope, I take out His letter to me, His word, I flip through the many pages and stop letting the book fall open. My eyes land on one sentence.


“If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples. You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”*

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The truth will set me free; yes it is true, he has confirmed it. Yet I know not the truth, I cannot place it together. He says that to get the truth I must be His follower, His disciple, to be his disciple means to remain in His word, to be constantly living in His word, to have it written on my heart.

I make a mental note to read this letter, this book, His word, more often.

*John 8:31-32


Picnic Bench Encounters

He had spoken to me that morning. I remained silent. After such a long time of wishing he would speak, after hoping that somehow, somewhere, we would be able to get back on track, he spoke, and all I did was swallow hard and remain silent.

I ran down that gravel path as fast as I could, down to the picnic bench and collapsed onto it, head falling onto my arms on the table. Hoping he would meet me there, some small part of me believing he would.

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The hurt, the desperation, the longing, inside me so large, causing me to ache from deep within. Taking deep breaths, scared to let the emotions rise up. Then it came, from deep inside, the tears, the sobs, the painful weeping, and the hot angry tears. I shouted at noone in particular

“I can’t do it! It’s too much, I can’t do it!”

Suddenly I realized I wasn’t alone, he had come to meet me just as I had hoped, joined me on the bench while I was too busy with my head bent over sobbing to notice. Aware of his presence I let the questions come, not looking up.

“Why do you love me anyway? How can you love me?”

He was silent, but I could feel him listening. I repeated the question, this time through uncontrollable sobs.

“How could you love me? Do you really love me?”

He waited quietly while I let the tears flow, letting the emotions bubble over and leak out until all the turmoil was laid bare, and what was left was calm quiet. I pulled my head up from my arms and as I wiped the tears off my face and the snot from my nose he spoke.

“I love you, I love you more than you understand.”

At his words I began sniffing to stop the tears flowing again. He continued;

“I love you, I created you and I see all you can become, I see the beauty.”

I let his words sink in, and prayed they would be graven onto my heart. Walking away I thanked my creator God for meeting me there in that place. Not a church, or holy building, but a humble picnic bench, right where I was, right where I needed Him.

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