Thursday, July 16, 2009
The command is to come together to worship. More than to "fellowship" (when did that become a verb?). More than to receive teaching or communion. We owe Christ everything.
Our songs should repeatedly name His wonderful name with thanksgiving and adoration. Too many "renewal" songs are ambivalent naming the Lord or the Holy One. Say that powerful name. Say it! Jesus!
8Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel,
9If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole;
10Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.
11This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.
12Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
13Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.
I remember a revival crusade at Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto about 1985. It featured the Jimmy Swaggart Ministry and its joyous Pentecostal flavour of music. Approximately 40 percent of the program would be given to music. I looked across to the opposite arena seats, probably some 5000 people in my view, and they all appeared to be singing, smiling and clapping their hands. The obvious unity of the moment arrested my attention, and suddenly it dawned on me that I was also hearing waves at the sea-shore, "the sound of many waters". I recalled the Revelation speaking of the voice of the glorified Jesus and of the redeemed crowd in this context. (Rev.1:15 and 14:2 and 19:6). It was wonderful.
For me worship will cause a desire either to sing along, laugh or cry. It must not be a performance requiring me to listen respectfully and sit on my hands. Much "soaking music" has this characteristic. Although it may be professional and moving, it is NOT worship.
Recently I added to this blog a video clip from You Tube featuring Michael W. Smith and his release "Deep in Love with You". Here is a minister in song in the spirit of King David. Often Michael will get a crowd going on a selection and then he will stop singing to appreciate the worship of the audience. A complete reversal of the "entertainment process". Remarkable! Thank you and God bless you, Michael.