Worship: What we do.
As a follow up to the previous article, “Worship: What Jesus does”, I feel that it is equally important to highlight our role in the heavenly discourse. What a superb truth; to know that Jesus will take my offering of lack and appeal to the Father from His perfection. This very principle develops our understanding of liberty. We know freedom in that we are truly and permanently being reconciled, as well as freedom in that we are able to employ creative, distinctly personal and subjective forms of worship.
There is however, a problem.
Our communal worship often becomes so creatively driven and inwardly focused that the only thing we seem to be able to deduce from this experience is how we felt during the event. How often have we heard our people say, “that worship really touched me”, or “I wasn’t really feeling worship this morning”? What is it that they did or did not feel? Was it the gospel or was it the rhythmic progression? My fear is that we have been capsized in a tumultuous sea of genre, cadence, and maintenance – all of which stems from an innate need to perform and please. So what does this mean for us? What is it that we are attempting to accomplish?
1. How we worship aids in forming the faith/life-experience.
Worshiping God involves telling stories, singing praise and trust and hope, sorrow and joy, delight and wonder. It trains us in lamenting, confessing, adoring, and lifting our cries for the whole world. At its best, …worship presents a vision of life created, sustained, redeemed and held in the mystery of grace. What we do together in acknowledging God “schools” us in ways of seeing the world and of being in it.
— Don Saliers 
Our worship is a beautifully full and vibrant retort, expressed through a dynamic network of demonstrations. This belongs to the whole life of the believer in as much as the time relegated to the worship service. Moreover, regardless of the demonstration, what we do together must affect our biblical worldview for the better. If it does not, we run the risk of damaging the healthy Christian perspective concerning the mystery of His grace and our role in it. When was the last time we considered how our expression of worship might affect the gospel for someone else? When was the last time we picked songs because they (as a unit) articulated the ongoing conversation between God and man so clearly, that there would be know mistaking what type of people we were, and to whom we belonged?
Brothers and sisters, we must utilize the expression with a similar respect and care as the proclamation of God’s word. The same goal is in mind.
2. How we worship aids in forming the theological experience.
“At the center of the New Testament stands not our religious experience, not our faith or repentance or decision, however important these are, but a unique relationship between Jesus and the father. Christ is presented to us as the son living a life of union and communion with the father in the spirit, presenting himself in our humanity through the eternal spirit to the father on behalf of humankind. By his spirit he draws men and women to participate both in his life of worship and communion with the father and in his mission from the father to the world.” (Torrance Pg. 30,31)
The act of worship is not purely self-serving. No, by the power and direction of the Spirit, we are visibly and audibly, teaching and training practical life and theology. Our worship, our forms, our utilization of the sacraments becomes the living, breathing projection of the invisible mystery. The trinity is manifest in it all, and the body is swept up in the divine orchestra. Every note unites us with the story, and every word exposes the wondrous depths of His love for us through His son.
When considering worship this week, I wonder if you wouldn’t first recall this reality. People are watching. We are all pontificating the mysteries of God, life and the world around us. We can aid them in our worship, either positively or negatively. We will wrap them up in entertainment and professionalism or we will draw them into the theatre of God; wherein they can be shaped theologically and philosophically.
 Worship with Us | Decatur United Church of Christ, http://www.decaturucc.org/worship-god/worship-services/ (accessed March 8, 2013).
 Torrance, James. “Chapter 1/ Worship-Unitarian or Trinitarian.” Worship, Community & the Triune God of Grace. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1996. 30-31. Print.