Friday, June 8, 2018

why do i worship?

i grew up in the Church of Christ
acapella worship
and i loved it. still do.
there's nothing more beautiful than the sound of a hymn being sun in four-part harmony.

last year, we started a second service at our church that uses instruments during worship.
i love it.
the implementation of instruments within the building has brought in many new people. unfortunately, it has been the reason for some to leave our fellowship.
i won't discuss that here.

what i would like to discuss is my heart for worship
and that it is not determined by the use of or lack of instruments 

i'll tell you why.
it's because i love the people
and i love what the Lord has done in their lives
when i watch people that i love worship, i witness their outpouring of love for their God and of praise of what He has done for them.
I get to see people who have known hurt and pain live with joy and peace because of the hope of heaven. 
when i watch people worship, i can't help but do the same.
because i follow a God who changes lives.

i don't determine if i can worship by the quality of the music being played, or if the lighting was right, or if they play songs that i know.

it's sitting by the elderly woman who has lost a child and a husband in her lifetime.
as she sings, 
"when peace like a river attendeth my way
when sorrows like sea billows roll
 whatever my lot, thou has taught me to say, it is well with my soul"
only accompanied by the other voices, no instruments
she taps her tightly-clenched fist on her leg, eyes closed
because she knows, even in the midst of terrible pain, it is well with her soul.
she personally knows the God who has given her peace to sustain her.
and she can't help but praise Him (however quietly) each time she sings those words of reassurance and comfort.

or sitting next to the young guy who had never stepped foot in a church building until a few years ago when he was required to attend a recovery program within the walls of the church.
he learned about the grace of God and has found forgiveness and hope.
and as he sings, 
"i am redeemed, i've been set free
 so i'll shake off these heavy chains, wipe away every stain
 i'm not who i use to be. i am redeemed"
 to a full band, lights dimmed. his hands are raised and he is on his feet. 
because he had no hope and now has hope
he was guilty and ashamed, now we has no shame and has a new identity in Jesus Christ

when i witness these two very different-from-the-outside kinds of worship, my response is the same.
usually i'm crying.
emotionally, i am overwhelmed with love for others and the joy i feel in watching them worship.
i am in awe of the power to sustain and the power to change that comes from knowing Jesus.

so, it doesn't matter whether i attend a service that has a band or just has the voices of those in attendance.
what matters is the relationships that i have with those behind the voices and the music.
it matters that i know the One who changed their life.


Sarah Jenkins said...


The Heart Mom said...

Truly a beautiful heartfelt message. Well said my daughter.