Daily Dose, Aug. 7

    Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions… Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me… Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. (Psalm 51:1, 10, 15)   At the suggestion of my son, a Methodist pastor, I’ve been reading For All God’s Worth, by NT Wright. This wonderful book is filled with so much insight into our Christian faith and practice that it’s one you need to go back and re-read several times to absorb. The first chapter is entitled “Worship.” Reading this led me on a tangent of thoughts concerning worship. After 40 years serving as a music director, I’ve come to realize that worship is many different things to those that attend. It is very easy for us all to fall into perfunctory worship, which isn’t really worship at all. We go through the motions, do the same things and don’t even stop to focus on the true purpose of worship. Some of us don’t like it when things are different or “not as they always used to be.” Wright says, “worship is humble and glad; worship forgets itself in remembering God.” I stopped as I read that. “Worship forgets itself.” I asked SELF, “when was the last time you completely forgot yourself in worship?”
  • Forgot what style of music was being performed?
  • Forgot about the tempo or the genre of the congregational singing?
  • Forgot about the fact that the preacher was saying things that made me squirm or I didn’t really want to hear?
Instead, when was the last time I immersed myself in the truth of the living Jesus Christ, wanting to be on my knees thanking Him for His master plan of salvation and left wanting to live a life of love to all? To quote a little more of Wright’s first chapter: “Worship celebrates the truth as God’s truth, not its own. True worship doesn’t put on a show or make a fuss; true worship isn’t forced, isn’t half -hearted, doesn’t keep looking at its watch, doesn’t worry what the person in the next pew may be doing. True worship is open to God, adoring God, trusting God.” Let us come to worship ready to adore our God, adore our savior, hear the Word with and open mind and an open heart. -- Barbara Holbrook, Director of Music  
N.T. Wright, “For all God’s Worth,” William B. Eerdmans Publishing Grand Rapids, Michigan/Cambridge, U.K.