Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Beauty of Worship

As I sat in an evening service, I listened to a pastor preach about how certain types of music can and will affect you.  This pastor focused mainly on the negative effects of music, but his point of the affects of music became so evidently clear as my week progressed.  I began to think about how music that follows modern trends is introduced to the body of Christ every year and multiple times a year.  The faster tempos of praise and worship music were introduced to those who sang older hymns.  The hymns written by Fanny Crosby were introduced to those singing the hymns of Martin Luther.  The hymns of Martin Luther were introduced to those singing Gregorian chants.  Music of the church has been revolutionized over and over again.  And, with every revolution comes skepticism: "Is this song truly worshipful?" "Is this style of music God-honoring?" "Are the lyrics about Jesus or a significant other?" "Is this song worldly?" Songs and music aid the body of Christ in its worship. The music must contain content that will enable true worship not a show or performance.  Worship is meant to adore God.

1 Chronicles 16:23-31 says:
Sing unto the Lord, all the earth; shew forth from day to day his salvation.
Declare his glory among the heathen; his marvellous works among all nations.
For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised: he also is to be feared above all gods.
For all the gods of the people are idols: but the Lord made the heavens.
Glory and honour are in his presence; strength and gladness are in his place.
Give unto the Lord, ye kindreds of the people, give unto the Lord glory and strength.
Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come before him: worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.
Fear before him, all the earth: the world also shall be stable, that it be not moved.
Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice: and let men say among the nations, The Lord reigneth. (KJV)

The Church is called to "worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness." Our attitudes are so important in worship.  We are to worship in the beauty of holiness.  The way we worship is supposed to be beautiful.  The music is supposed to prepare, encourage, and aid worship. Can the Church on Earth actually achieve this worship in the beauty of holiness. Often worship is viewed as a show or an act.  Many times, worship is exactly that.  Ordinary people lead worship and song services in the church.  These sinners are leading worship.  And, more sinners are being led and participating in worship.  Pride, jealousy, anger.  These negative effects infiltrate a worship setting.  Worship is so much more than just singing on Sunday and listening to a sermon.  Worship is a daily act and a daily choice.  Our worship will never be perfect on this earth.  We must focus on our personal worship in our daily lives.  We must encourage others in their worship.  Worship will radically change when Christ returns, and the Church begins its eternal worship in Heaven (Rev 14:7).  Now is the time to join together in worship of all kinds with pure hearts, extolling one another until the day when our worship of the Lord will be filled with all the beauty of holiness.