I have been reading a book called A Royal Waste of Time by Marva Dawn. I also have been reading a book called Facedown by Matt Redman. Both are proving to be enlighting to what worship is really about.
In the past week, God has become even more vast than my previous perception. Rob Bell has a quote that he uses in his DVD “Everything is Spiritual”, where he says, “the weirdness of the bigness”. Right now that is summing up what I am recognizing about God. God is not so shallow to be confined to love. He’s not evil to let his judgment define him. One of the hardest concepts to grasp is the statement in Exodus 3 where God says to Moses “I AM”. He is love, yet he’s judgement. He’s Grace, yet he’s mercy. He’s the past the present and the future. When the church has the theology that God is only one thing, then God is placed in a box and his arms are tied. Yet the opposite can be true. If the church believes that God is this free roaming vapor who does what he pleases then God has no structure. It is only when we look at God with the balance of freedom and structure, can we learn the true nature and character of God.
Many times worship can become out of balance because the church has lost sight of the character of God. When the church chooses to follow the next best thing, or stay in the rut of yesteryear it begins to die. It has been said what God meant for transition we have made tradition. When the postmodern church throws out the hymns for songs of the radio it becomes no different than the church who fails to add to their hymnal Repertoire.
Illumination is the only word to describe what happened as I learned about liturgical responsive reading. The responsive reading is almost a forced revelation of who God is and what he is done. It also gives a forced response. The worst part is that liturgical churches did their best to keep God centered. They also didn’t allow for any deviation from their format. Therein lie the great shift from liturgical worship to contemporary worship.
Instead of moving a few meters from center the church almost divided itself in half. The good thing is that by pulling away from where you stand you can look objectively at where you were. The danger is that pulling away creates a vacuum.
All throughout history there has been a pendulum swinging. The key is for church to come back to where it first began. Given the day we live in that is not going to happen. The key would be to come back to the center and maintain a balance from getting to far left and too far right.