Whatever is Pure - September 2006
Worship With No AgendaAs it is summer, we have many out of town visitors to our church each Sunday. This morning was no exception. Lisa, a close friend of mine, brought three visitors of her own, including her sister, who is unsaved and deeply involved in pagan religions, native spirituality and eastern cults. Their niece, also unchurched, sat between them and rounding out their little group sat a woman who was saved under Lisa's ministry and made it off the streets only to suffer a massive stroke and is now only able to walk with a walker and now lives hundreds of miles away.
Lisa is a worshipper who enters deep into communion with her Lord at every given opportunity. She is not one to sit still at church and as the spirit moves her she will kneel, raise her hands and on occasion dance with her godchildren as they express their joy with flags and banners. As I was aware of her guests backgrounds, I felt led to intercede on their behalf during the service. Being a natural-born fretter, I was concerned that they might be offended by the exuberance of our worship. The songs chosen today all happened to concentrate on the Lordship of Jesus, the blood of the lamb and salvation only through him. A direct challenge to the beliefs of Lisa's pagan sister.
I could not see the faces of Lisa's guests as they sat several rows away. I could only see Lisa's back from afar. From my vantage, I did not see any holding back on her part. She made no excuses for her passion for her Lord, yet there was nothing in her stance that gave indication that she was trying to make a point to her pagan sister. She was simply there to bring pleasure to her King.
In this age of increasing darkness, the Lord's request still remains. We are asked to worship Him in Spirit and in Truth. Worship while often done in a corporate setting is an individual expression of our devotion joining with others in a chorus of praise before our King. It should make no matter to us who we might offend or who might be judging us as long as our hearts remain centered on pleasing the Lord with the offering of our voices, our hands and our selves. If we worship only to make a point to those who serve other gods that our God is bigger than their god, then our focus becomes centered on something other than the One who we come to worship. There is a time and a place for witnessing and God commands us all to be his ambassadors, this I will never deny. However, worship is honor and adoration directed to God and not directed to those around us.
© 2006 Katherine Walden
Reaching upwards, the
What could be done for
A new development
People's freedom had arrived and
No Man Is An Island - Except With An IpodI've recently joined the legion of the walking wired or in my case, the scooting wired. About a month ago, I bought a small mp3 player to take with me as I dash around my neighbourhood, running errands. What a blessing to listen to powerful worship music that allows my spirit to soar! A half hour trip seems to take a quarter that time. I have been uploading old CDs I haven't listened to in years and rediscovering inspiring music. Grocery shopping is a joy as I no longer have to hear that annoying muzak, screaming children and idle pointless chatter around me. Waiting in line, I have much more patience with Chris Tomlin's music blasting in my ears, "Holy is the Lord".
As much as I consider the mp3 player a blessing, I have discovered a definite negative side effect. I am much less aware of my environment and the people within it. There is a sense of being detached. There is a bit of a smugness within me at times, as if I have a secret place that no one else can enter. I am an island floating past other islands of isolation, people chatting on cell phones, teens with their Ipods turned up so high that those who pass by can hear the driving thump of the bass. Teens walk in a group, all listening to their individual music, all bouncing to a different beat and text messaging each other instead of talking face to face.
As I stated in the first article in this month's edition, worship ... in a corporate setting is an individual expression of our devotion joining with others in a chorus of praise before our King. You will never see a successful choir practise in individual soundproofed rooms, each member unto themselves. No, in order for their voices to blend harmoniously, they must keep aware of the voices about them. Not only do they receive their cues from the choir director, they also learn from each other, adjusting the tone and cadence of their voice to enhance the group effort. In the same way, within the body of Christ, as we choose to tune into each other's strengths and weaknesses, adjusting our own attitudes and looking for ways to come alongside to strengthen and encourage, our worship will be exceedingly pleasing to our audience of One. The worship I speak of is not only the raising of our voices in song but our coming together to live our lives pleasing unto the Lord.
© 2006 Katherine Walden
That steady, incessant stare--
As of May 2012, "WHATEVER IS PURE" ARCHIVES will no longer be seeking submissions. As most authors and poets now have their own blogs, we noticed a significant drop in submissions over the past year and felt it was best to move on to other endeavors.
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