9. on worship…
In about an hour I head off to my church to play on the worship team. It’s not something I’m looking forward to, but I don’t know…I just go. I can’t really figure it out. it’s like every time I leave a rehearsal or Sunday worship tiime I keep thinking to myself that I hate this. I leave in a worse mood than when I came in. And I’m not really sure why.
…although I do have some ideas as to why…
For one thing, I know it’s not completely their fault. I honestly can’t remember the last time I truly felt worshipful – when I felt my praise of God was anything more than words and melody. Now some might say that worship is not about feelings and I’ll grant that to a degree but even intellectually, one of the things that hinders my worship is the language of love and relationship which I just can’t relate to right now (see blog titled, “theory vs practice” as for why).
But it’s more than that too. So much of the worship songs that we sing just sound like crappy-assed pop songs (I was temped to use stronger language there, but sheesh, we’re talking about worship – have some respect! God knows what I wanted to say). Replace God or Jesus with Elaine or Lisa and you’ve got the next boy-band uber-hit. I don’t get any sense of awe or wonder or even reverance. I also think that the theology of some songs are suspect. And lastly, the lyrics themselves are so…I’m not sure what word to use here. What I’m trying to say is that they don’t seem to be exploring or striving to say something that can’t be put into words – they don’t sound like poetry, they sound manufactured.
Oh, and here’s something that ALWAYS kills me: “that’s not how they did it on the CD.” I want to break things and throw chairs around the room when I hear that. Who cares! That has nothing to do with worship. Most worship songs are recorded live and they sang that song the way they did becuase it was right for that time and that place with those people. We’re not there and we’re not them.
Maybe this comes down to what really bothers me about worship. In my mind, I understand God to be transcendent, more powerful than can be understood or even contemplated. I think of the universe we live in. The Hubble telescope has imaged galaxies 13 BILLION light years away. Keep in mind that one light year is equal to about 5.8 TRILLION miles. Want to hear a figure that’s even more astounding? Scientists estimate that the universe is AT LEAST 156 billion light years wide (and growing). But here’s the most outrageous fact of all – God reigns over all of it, God created all of it and as vast as the universe is, God chose to put all that power aside, took human form and came to this little speck of rock called Earth to tell us what he’s all about and to take all of our selfish sins upon himself and died with them so that we wouldn’t have to.
There’s a God that I want to worship. I don’t see that God in the worship songs of today.
Ironically, after all that ranting I’ve got to get in the shower and head off to my church.
Maybe I’ll continue this tonight. Probably not.