Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name!
One of the well-known characters of the Old Testament is King David. David did not always make the best decisions; he had some moral shortcomings in his life, but one thing that David had was a heart and passion for worshipping God. David wrote countless psalms, and provides us more than once in his story, with glimpses of a man whose heart burns to worship God. David speaks in Psalm 103 of praising God with all of his soul. We hear in 2 Samuel 6:14-15: “And David danced before the Lord with all his might. And David was wearing a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting and with the sound of the horn.” David was a man who worshipped God with great intensity, from the very depth of his soul. What I wrestle with is, does my worship look like that? When we gather as a faith community, does our worship look like that? I grew up in a background that taught me worship was respectful, serene, and quiet. Yet I read the psalms and see worship looking more like shouting, loud noises and praising God with nearly any instrument you can get your hands on. In a word: passion.
Last week the worship service on Sunday morning flowed differently than it often does. And for much of the next season at Trinity, each week will be unlike what has become “normal” at Trinity. I wanted to share with you a bit of my heart, along with Josh’s heart for why you are going to see this.
Let’s start with a simple question (trust me the answer is simple): Who do we gather for on Sunday mornings? Obviously, the answer is God. We come to glorify God, to hear from His word, to be changed and moved by His Holy Spirit, and to be empowered to be “on mission” in the world. These simple questions began a process of taking everything we do in worship and asking, “Does this help us to glorify God and take on a posture that makes us attentive to the Holy Spirit?” This is a very different question than asking, what can I get out of worship, did worship make me happy or feel good today? Instead does everything that we do create an atmosphere where each person can, like David, worship God with the entirety of his/her being?
Did anyone else notice that last weekend was different, that the Holy Spirit was up to something new and unique? As I was preaching “Amen” was shouted out loud more than once. At first it caught me off guard, but it also encouraged me greatly as a preacher. In these words I heard, “I hear God saying that too,” “preach it brother” and “I agree.” I saw hands raised, and voices lifted to God. Sunday, I saw a glimpse of Psalm 103, praising God with all of our heart, mind and soul.
Over the coming months you are going to see things like the greeting, announcements, and the congregational prayer look different, and some to not continue in their current form altogether. This is not change for change sake, but a process of evaluating what we do through the filter of creating an atmosphere where we can worship God with all our heart, mind and soul. There will be an intentional focus on creating an atmosphere of worship without distractions, where all that we do can be part of a single movement of worship, glorifying God, hearing from His Word, and responding with words, voices, and offerings.