What moves you?
Remember that age-old paradox, “What happens when an irresistible force encounters an immovable object?” An answer came to me as I was sitting in church last Sunday. WORSHIP, that’s what happens!
This past Sunday, Pastor Barb preached on Passionate Worship. “Passionate Worship” is a fervent and wholehearted expression of devotion, reverence, and adoration towards God.
Passionate worship goes beyond mere participation in religious rituals or recitation of prayers; it stems from a genuine desire to connect with God on a spiritual and emotional level. Ardent worship is an immersive experience where believers engage their entire being – body, mind, and spirit – in a transformative encounter with the divine presence.
This kind of worship always involves our minds, for in worship we learn about God; we remember the acts of God; and we express our authentic selves before God. The more vulnerable, honest, and willing we are to surrender to God’s grace, the more we can experience the depth of God’s love which enables us to cultivate a deeper relationship with our Lord.
Passionate worship also involves an authentic and deeply emotional connection with the God. We exhibit this heartfelt connection through singing, praying, dancing, raising hands, (okay maybe we don’t dance at CSM but its in the Bible) contemplation, and other acts of worship.
Over the years, sometimes people have said to me, “I didn’t come to church last Sunday because I knew all I would do is cry!” As if crying was an embarrassment and a distraction, when for that person, on that Sunday crying was an expression of their authentic state of being. In early America, churches had a “mourner’s bench.” The church designated a specific spot for mourners who were sorry for their sins or overwhelmed by life’s losses to grieve. What a healthy thing to have a time and place to express one’s grief where one could receive acceptance and comfort.
Passionate worship can take place both individually and in gathered worship. In either setting, the focus is on creating an atmosphere that ignites a deep sense of awe, reverence, and connection with the divine.
For you see, we are often the “immovable object!” Bombarded with all the hubbub and tragedy of our world we become spiritually depressed and deadened. We become rigid in our response to the way things are. We need God’s spirit to breathe life into us, we need the courage to be vulnerable enough to laugh and to cry and to get involved. This is why worship is the spiritual “Mitochondria” (as Pastor Barb said), which provides the energy for the church to live and act.
COME TO WORSHIP! ENCOUNTER GOD AND BE MOVED!
This coming Sunday we will be skipping ahead in the order of the “Five practices” and addressing “Risk-taking mission and service.”