Monday, May 19, 2014

Musings on Worship

The river of God is teeming with life and all who touch it can be revived.  (song lyrics by Andy Park)

I love this song because of its imagery.  Living in river city, I drive over the Colorado most every day, never tiring of its mystery.

I like to think of worship like a great flowing river, sometimes broad and deep, other times swift and jubilant.  Yet, worship has its boundaries, just as rivers have their banks.  Those walls are spirit and truth.  God seeks those who will worship Him in this way. (John 4:23)

One reason I love teaching children the Bible is how the study blesses my own heart.  I take it seriously, considering the lesson as much for me as for them.  My challenge yesterday, was to somehow convey to the students that worship was not just singing a song.  Rather, it involved their whole heart, mind, soul, and strength directed toward their Creator.  (Rom. 12:1-2)

That's when a river came to mind.

The bank of truth is the Word of God.  The more we know of the character of God and His attributes, the deeper our worship.  The words we sing and the life we live as we offer ourselves to Him each day, must coincide with His Word.  Without obedience we may as well send worship downstream.

The opposite bank is spirit, our inward being, where the Spirit of God dwells.  Only by His fullness can we know true worship.  We cannot fake worship, for it comes only from the heart and bubbles out in various expressions, sometimes joyous emotion, other times quiet awe, and at times, even tearful anguish.

Yet, no matter the expression, pure worship remains within the banks of spirit and truth.  One without the other creates imbalance. 

However, the most wondrous part of all, and unique to rivers and streams, is the waterfall.

When I reach the very edge of my own sufficiency, my heart plunges downward, and I cry out, "Jesus, I need you!"  In that place, life falls apart unexpected and broken.

Yet, in that moment, worship gushes out in a spray of glory.

And the river continues on, this continuous worship.  Those who linger, will come back thirsting for more, always more of His Spirit full in our lives.

The river of God fills our mouths with laughter and we rejoice for the river is here (song lyrics by Andy Park)

And all cry glory, for He is worthy!

However, no amount of teaching will cause children to learn of worship like watching adults participate in meaningful worship.  This is one of many reasons I love my church fellowship, because though for some parts of the morning we are divided into separate age groups, yet, for the worship time, families are kept together.  Furthermore, we have a worship pastor who truly shepherds the people of God, keeping our focus on the Lord and not show or entertainment, a rare blessing.  I am truly grateful.


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