Space.

What am i talking about? Not like outer space, but space, as in for the holy spirit. Not physical space, but spiritual space, intentional space for the 3rd part of the trinity to move.

Now hear me out, I love musical times of worship, but I realized that what I love is a particular style of worship. Not the type that has moving flashing lights, but a particular style that during the music part of worship, there is space given to the spirit. Apparently, I know exactly what I mean, but now that I'm half a world away in another culture, I realized that I don't really know how to explain it to people.

It would be like explaining chocolate to an alien that does not have taste buds. Or trying to explain nuclear physics to a caveman. To ME it's amazing, relevant and important. To others, it's not.

So that means that every time I'm in a church here, I miss a little something during the worship time. It's like a moment that can't be filled with lyrics. There's no formula, and it can't be faked. I'll try and explain it. In our lives, we have time and we like to fill it. We have hobbies, smart phones, Netflix, jobs, family, and sudoko. We feel fulfilled when our time is used up entirely, and this attitude has seeped into our worship. We fill it, and when it's filled with good music and singing, we're fulfilled. Filled even.

My notion and concept of worship was never like this, because I 1) did not grow up in church and 2) did not grow up in N America. I grew up in a church where worship was a key part in our relationship with Christ, why? Because we interact with Him via the Holy Spirit. We give him space. here, it's like we need to sing Christian music (whatever THAT means)

SO, there's no formula, but it's not rocket science either.

I preached once years ago that my favorite times in worship is when there are no lyrics on the screen. Time in-between songs, when the music is very quiet, and there's nothing but space. and it's in these times where freedom takes over. what a strange saying, that freedom can be controlling, but it's closest saying that represents what happens in those sweet moments.
In these moments, God and I talk. Maybe not in the way that I talk with another humans, but there is a heart to heart between the everlasting God and little ol me. In those times, I feel the weight of my sin. I feel the love and grace of God. Those moments become the exclamation in everything else that God was speaking to me about.

It is important to understand that without the punctuation of the Holy spirit in the entire package of what God speaks to us in a worship service, we have an incoherent message. i'm not talking about the sermon, i'm talking the whole service. don't believe me? Think about a letter or email without punctuation. It wouldn't make sense, it would be difficult to receive, meaning would misinterpreted. it would be gibberish.

There are loads of things that are going on in our personal lives, and in something like a worship service. You have scriptures being read, sermons, communion, announcements, friends, you name it. So when the music time of worship happens, and then you have a moment when their are no lyrics and the music is quiet, it can be stressful. that's why i'm such a stickler for space in a worship service. There are so many different things attacking our senses and vying for our attention, so what do we do? we bombard it even more with more "Jesus" stuff.

i vote no. i say, let's calm down, quiet down, and just let God, through the holy spirit, speak. see, it's not rocket science.

so next time you have a minute, either alone or in church, especially in such an intimate time as a worship set.... give God space. Let the Holy Spirit guide the message of the worship service by adding the vital punctuation on the whole thing in order that it makes sense. then worship won't be about being filled, but it will be about receiving the true revelation that the Lord is trying to give you.

or you could just play sudoko....

Comments

Cel said…
:) I love those times during worship too!

... so the past few days has just been me, ocean, wind, and birds... no ipod, no iphone... not even my journal, Bible or a book... just nature, me, and God... and all I have to say is... wow. :)
You should try out a Friends church if you want some open worship. There is a good one in Newberg, not too far from Portland, and it's definitely a different experience than sitting in an American mega church. There is definitely something about the Still that is moving.

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