Friday, April 30, 2010

Church Music



Here is the church. The steeple. The doors open wide and I begin to watch people.

I am a regular attender of church. A member so to speak. That is if we are discussing buildings or structures. If we are talking about the body, I have been a long time member which I believe is more important than my attendance on a Sunday.

No matter how church is defined when I am in the confines of a church building I am always watching people. I think it comes from my nosy nature but I like to break it down and define my intrigue as spiritual gifting.

One thing I notice in church or with the church is the boredom and the distant stares that show up. I don't fault them, I don't even condemn them.

Anymore.

I used to be so peeved when I would be on a worship team and people would just stand there and not get in to the music. I have a natural tendency to move, to sing, to get lost in the moment and when I was younger jump all over stage. It was my expression of worship to God.

It was how I marveled in a moment of total surrender to a perfect God.

When I married MR.FORDE I learned rather quickly why everyone wasn't acting in the same manner as me. It's not everyones thing. With time, maturity and spiritual understanding I have come to be OK with that. Now I find myself sometimes completely uneasy with the musical worship portion of our services.

This uneasy feeling has nothing to do with who is in the band, what songs they sing, key changes or how well they interpreted some bands version of a song. It comes down to the heart.

I still love musical worship. Alone, I revel in it. I sing songs at the top of my lungs, I write, I play my piano, I listen to CD's. I love it. Then, sometimes I get to church and that love escapes me. Why is that?

It's a personal thing. It all goes back to the heart. Maybe I don't identify with what is being sung. Maybe I just disagree with the lyrics. I can't worship God and lie to him at the same time.

It always gets me when I am by myself and I am listening to an artist sing their music. Their expression to God. I find myself with my hands lifted and my heart urning for God. At home I write and I feel His presence. I hear someone sing their songs and I believe a little deeper.

It's the heart.

It's not wrong to sing the songs we do. A lot of church songs are beautiful if you just stop and listen. Hymns are mystical. Chorus are energized with God's majesty. Praise encapsulates the amazement of our Saviour. Yet sometimes that expression isn't ours. We don't live in that moment that the writer did. In essence we are chanting empty words to our God.

That's insulting.

I think so anyways.

God deserves our honesty. I think he would rather us shut our mouths on Sunday morning if our hearts don't line up with what we are singing. If we feel fake in our worship time then it is in no way honoring to God.

I get that.

Now.

To all that I have looked down on in the past, I apologize. Maybe your reasons aren't mine for not being lead into that place of "worship" on Sunday morning but if they are I understand now. Not everyone feels vulnerable and exposed to God when they hear a guitar strum.

Maybe you see God's glory through pictures. Maybe listening to the original artist sing or read their piece with the emotion it was written reveals God's face to you. Maybe living in your talents makes God real to you.

Sunday I am going to church. I am going to stand there and not try to get into the music but open up my heart to God. I want to find Him on the grounds he wants to meet me on.

If that place is in the quiet by myself with a pen and a piece of paper, then I am there.

If he wants to meet me outside and walk through His creation together, I will be there.

If He wants me to worship by watching someone who loves God fall in love with Him all over again because of words and melodies someone else wrote, then be it.

If God wants me to open my mouth and use the gift He gave me to exalt Him, I will.

May we be faithful and glorifying to the one we call our God.

Worship is not something that is to be forced from within. It is the place we find comfort. It is when we fall at His feet and cry out praises, His desire becomes one to embrace us. God then invites us to crawl up onto His knee and He holds us. That is worship.

LJ

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