Something that I have thought about before and that has recently come back into my thoughts, my worship and my conversations with people are: what is worship? and how do we worship? Something that has particularly come into conversation recently is that (a) worship in its musical form, is deep and meaningful and we need to take into consideration the words we sing; and (b) that worship is more than a song.
– Amos. 5:21-24
[A. What do words mean anyway?]
How many people can honestly say that they pay attention to the words written in their hymn books or on the screen in Church? Do we just sing because it is what we do, or do we sing because we want to, because we long to meet with God in this way? A while ago a friend told me about how she’d been at a Christian festival and they were introduced to a new song. People seemed to be responding to it quite well, and she said that she was really enjoying it until she realised what she was singing. After that, she stopped to just listen and read what the words said, and what they meant. How many of us take the time to just stop?
How many times have we gone to Church on a Sunday, sung the same songs, week in, week out, but gone home feeling exactly the same, not taking into account what we’ve sung? Do we sing out of our Christian duty? or do we sing because it is our joy? Sung worship should be both our duty and our joy (Joseph Couves, 2012).
Words are so powerful! They have the power to transform lives, the power to make a difference. But, if it was all down to words, we’d get nothing done. These songs that we sing each week should stir us up to send us out. We need to engage in what we are singing and ask ourselves ‘do we really mean what we are singing?’
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YNeTwWU1RE&sns=fb – The Creed (a video that challenges us in our saying of the Creed. Challenging us to think about the words, and what power they hold!)
[B. More than a song]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6smGew7dGto&feature=related – Jimmy Needham: Clear the Stage
However, it shouldn’t just be about the songs we sing. We shouldn’t define worship to the 20minute block of songs at the start of our service, or the things that fill the gaps in our structure. We should worship with our whole lives! Are the songs we sing and the words we read impacting our lives? Are they challenging us, making us think and reflect upon their meaning, both generally, and personally for our own individual lives? We shouldn’t just sing these songs/hymns because it’s “what we do”, but it should be about what these songs are telling us and how we respond to that.
How can we keep from singing when we are loved by the king? Keep us from just singing and move us into action so that other people can experience the love of the king! 🙂 It is my hope and prayer that we move away from this idea that we sing in Church because it’s “what we do”, to something that we want to do, and is ‘right’ to do! Think about the words we say and sing in our services, reflect on them, see what they mean for our lives and use them to worship God during the rest of your week when not gathered together with the body of Christ, the Church.