Worship Matters AUGUST~ 2022 Recently, I sat down at my piano and sang a song of worship to the Lord. I wish this happened more often, but lately it seems I only play when I am preparing for leading or assisting with Sunday morning worship. Not a great example, I realize. I need to spend quality time with the Lord in private praise and worship in order to be filled and able to give wholeheartedly in leading others. However, sometimes the urgency and stress of everyday life crowds out this time, and our minds are racing with the next thing we need to get done. Sadly, when an opportunity presents itself to worship, we find ourselves uninspired.
I noticed, as I sang, played and meditated on the words of the song, that I was taking my time. Much longer than if I was practicing the song for Sunday morning. For Sunday, I’m often timing the music and trying to fit everything in to a tightly packed schedule. There seems to be no time to meditate on the lyrics, to repeat a chorus, to play an instrumental part and just listen to God’s heart and think about what He may be saying back to me. In worship, as in life, it is just Go, go, go! Accomplishment, performance, efficiency, finishing a job well. These are the values of our society and to some extent, the Christian church. Have we become task-oriented about our worship, also?
There is hope, joy, purpose and life-giving healing sitting in the presence of Jesus. It does take time, and time can be our most precious possession in the demanding rhythms of everyday life. Is it more important to have a well-paced, efficient Sunday service, or to collectively take our time to really enter in to a meaningful time of worship? It is a struggle sometimes to know when to pause and allow the Holy Spirit time to move and touch the deep places of our hearts as we come together to praise the Lord. Yes, there must be balance and order; we need to collect our children, say our goodbyes, and head home for lunch. There is a time to begin and a time to end. “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven” Ecc. 3:1
I believe the issue may be more of a heart attitude than a practical question of timing. We all want the service to flow well, to not have embarrassing musical slip-ups or pauses. However, a life walking with Jesus is not programmed. He is not glancing at the clock, waiting for us to hit the mark. Can I adjust my expectations to allow more time for Him? To focus on what He may want to do in Sunday morning worship? I want to learn to slow down when He calls me to listen. If that means the song takes a little longer, then perhaps it is more than worth it. Jesus is worthy of our undivided attention. May each of us find time this week to pause and sit in His presence, and worship Him. ~ Pam Graham, Worship Coordinator
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41-42