Thursday, July 3, 2008

Praise Ye The Lord

Praise the Lord, O my soul.
While I live will I praise the Lord: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being.
(Ps. 146:1&2)

Sunday morning, Laura and I went to church with Aunt Cindy, Uncle Guy, and Alli. I'm so glad we did. My visit there was like a little revelation of sorts. The message was a tremendous blessing, but the spirit of worship is what really ministered to me.

I've grown up in more "traditional" style Independent Baptist type churches all my life. Being so, I expected it to be totally awkward and hard to focus on actually worshiping. It's been that way most of the other times I've visited churches that weren't what I've been used to.
I've been brought up around people who sometimes tend to judge others by whether or not they wear skirts, or use a specific version of the Bible, or hold different opinions on music. Sometimes the assumption is made that if others are worshiping differently, it must not be true worship. Like if they do such and such, they must not be as sincere as we folk with stricter standards, and more old fashioned beliefs. Not that I believed those things, but visiting Bridgeway was such a contradiction to those assumptions and judgements. I could really feel the presence of God Sunday morning, and it was so sweet to see how everyone was bent on worshiping Him, and giving Him glory. It was plain to see that the main goal there is to serve God.

And all of that mad me think how sometimes we "traditionalists" miss out on the joy of worship. So many times people will just stand there, mechanically singing their saintly old- time hymns with their orchestra, letting the "contemporary" people do all the real, sincere, joyful worshipping. I've seen a room full of people singing hymns of joy and thanksgiving, and their faces looked as if they were at a funeral. Of course, you could sing the popular praise songs just as mechanically...

This isn't a debate on music or styles, and I still prefer hymns to most modern praise choruses, but I guess my point is that true worship comes from the heart. It should be sincere and joyful. Thankful. And it should cause you to reflect on how small you are, and how great God is. All of our being should be consumed with praising the One who deserves more praise and love than we could ever give.

It was really nice Sunday to experience that joyful, humble, sincere worship in a different setting.

That's all. :)

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