Friday, 27 August 2010

Music or Worship?

As promised, I am now turning my thoughts to Worship. What does it mean to worship God in spirit and truth? Whilst sung worship is certainly not all encompassing this is what I shall focus on, we shall simply ignore the fact that our whole life is meant to be one act of continual worship to the God who saves us.

Sung worship comes in many forms, it can be accompanied or not, melancholic or upbeat, contemporary or traditional. This is not what truly matters, rather the outward sound is simply a way to convey praises of a grateful heart. It is when this fails that questions need to be asked. Recently, in a church service, the worship started off with lively choruses. I have no problem with this provided, as always, the words are theologically correct and the congregation can sing them as truth. However when this phase of worship ended and a more contemplative mood began, the music becoming slower with more words, all of the elders sat down and sung no more.

I can not speak for there heart but from where I sat it appeared as if they were only worshiping when the music was lively. If someone can only worship in this way, and not when the music is softer or the words repeated less, then they must ask themselves whether their worship was true in the first place.

Music itself possesses the ability to effect our emotions. Simply turn on 'sad' music and you will start to feel melancholy, or turn on something upbeat, fast with a jaunty melody and your mode will start to lift. This is a gift from God and we should use it to praise him, with the harp and lyre and trumpet. However we must guard our heart that our worship be true. That we don't simply get swept along by the music, and that our peace stems from God rather than something intrinsic in the music. Think on the words that you sing, are they true? Don't listen to the pleasant sound, that is God's to hear but rather contemplate the words that you sing, and let the worship live in your heart.

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