One of the things that I have missed so much since we moved from WV was being involved in a church where worship was a priority. Singing hymns can be awesome. I can sing them now in a way I never did, really meditating on the words and the depth of meaning the great hymn-writers intended when they were penned. I think many would be aghast at what they have become - rote recitations of familiarity, sung with little heart, and little grasp at the context.
Today we attended theBridge which is a church we were attending for the last year or so before we moved. Although they meet in the auditorium of a local elementary school, the Spirit of God is there. They have made reaching the community for Christ a priority over having a building. I just love the heart of the people there. They draw you in. We never became members, but when we come "home" we know where we will be welcomed as family.
Today's sermon was the fifth part in a series on worship. It was like a drink of water to a thirsty person. Having been part of a praise and worship team for over six years, I know how easily it can become about the "band", or the "music". The sermon today was about how worship is intended to center our hearts and our worship on Christ. Pastor Tim focused on Revelation 5, and the spacial concepts there - Christ on the throne in the center - and everyone else positioned around Christ in worship. I drew a diagram as the pastor illustrated the point and it really brought it home.
I had this thought - that anytime I put myself in the center, I am committing treason - as I attempt to dethrone my King. Ponder that a minute! Culturally, in the US we don't understand the respect commanded by a king. It is hard to grasp this in a culture where a President is put on national TV to deny "sexual relations" with a young woman, with a shame-stained dress as evidence displayed for all the world to see.
I digress, worship - the purpose is to keep our King, the one who will never shame us with scandal, never lie, never cheat, doesn't lose His concentration, etc. on the throne at the center of our hearts.
If you are interested - this excellent sermon series is online here. You can go back and listen to the beginning of this series - and they should soon have the most recent sermons uploaded. Let me know what you think if you listen.