Friday, February 17, 2006

Worship goes beyond the music

There's a famouse quote by Matt Redman that goes something like this:

"Some people think missions are the ultimate but worship is the ultimate. When
all's said and done we won't be doing missions anymore but we'll still be
worshipping." (I probably butchered that quote so if anyone knows
where I can get it please let me know)

I've thought and wrestled with this quote for a while and honestly I had some trouble with it. At first it sounds like a cute idea but nothing really helpful for our situation yet something about these words rang true to me. I had to really wrestle with what I believed about worship. Is worship just singing songs to God and praying really hard?

If worship is, as we defined it in my last post, a demonstration or display of the relationship we have with God then it has to transcend music. It has to do with more than an hour a week of our lives, it has to be poured out in out entire life. So how can we say that worship is even possible without missions. In our present situation there is suffering and there is good, so to demonstrate our relationship what would be better than to suffer with God; responding to the needs of the world, and to celebrate with God; emracing all that is good in the world.

Missions is worship and so is celebration. A life lacking either is not worship. But in the end God will not suffer, Man will not suffer, we will celebrate renewal. We celebrate whatever is good in this world and yes that is worship but we cannot neglect the needs of the world. So there is much truth in Redman's quote. We will be worshipping and worship is the ultimate. And a life without worship doesn't serve or celebrate.

6 comments:

Ashley said...

I remembered the first time I heard this quote, I too thought it was cool but then the more I thought about it the more it bothered me. I could not agree with you more where you said 'missions is worship and so is celebration'. These past two posts have been amazing. Thank you Wes!

SteveW said...

I used to think like Charismatics on worship. I used to relate it to following a leader who would usher me into God's presence and it seemed to require a certain kind of music.

My heart has changed so much the last few years. Worship to me now is giving Him worth in all that I do and all that I am, even the not so good stuff because I know He holds great worth for me just as I am. It's the singing that is going on in my heart as I walk in the presence of this wonderful Father. It's a constant celebration of life and hopefully it rubs off a little on others.

That doesn't make my way any better than anyone else. It's just where I am personally.

Mike Exum said...

A few years ago I read a book by Walter Brueggemann called Israel's Praise. Ever since, I have looked at worship very differently. Worship is world making -in a sense. And since reading Wright, I see it as confrontational as well. Of course this is all in addition to a more traditional view of worship as celebrating being with God.

Somehow, though, the Brueg/Wright stuff lends a lot of weight to the thing. I says that even the world must do business with our worship and our worship must do business with the world.

(Perhaps 'business' is a poor word for it, but I think it expresses my thought well enough.)

Anyway, worship is far more than a good time with God. And it is not stupid or silly. (I am thinking here from an atheistic viewpoint.) It actually orders the world in it's proper order. The world was designed to bear the Glory of God. Thus it is Kingdom business.

I would like to see someone write an indepth theology of worship. I ask worship leaders what their theology of worship is from time to time, and I usually get blank stares in return. That is a shame. Worship leaders are at the cutting edge of the New World Order and they hardly know it.

Many blessings...

WES ELLIS said...

funny you should mention it... I have Israel's Praise sitting on a shelf in my bathroom. I pick it up from time to time. I should read through it.

I've just started doing a little thinking about worship... sooner or later I'll be ready to put together something of substance. Thanks.

Mike Exum said...

I'm envious. I did not purchase a copy for myself. I checked it out of the library, and now that I am no longer in and out of the theological library everyday, well I don't have ready access to anymore. It is a good book. Perhaps you can report on it for us....at your convenience.

Hope you like it.

Blessings...

WES ELLIS said...

I will try to do that. Give me a while though. It's hard to read any books other than the ones I'm required to for class. Maybe it'll be a spring break project.