introspection

Heart of Mary, Mind of Martha

This week I’ve been preparing for a special worship service we have scheduled for tonight.

Sitting here now, attempting to build a difficult puzzle, I’m realizing my thoughts and my heart are kind of all over the place, like my puzzle pieces.

Absolutely not the “attitude of worship” I feel I need to be in for tonight.

Besides changes to the service due a main member being placed into quarantine, there has been extra busy-ness for me this week.

I’m finding it difficult to just rest my mind that is cluttered on so many unimportant things, just on Jesus.

The picture I chose at the beginning shows so much how I’d define me at this moment.

The setting reminds me of being in the high places. It seems so peaceful. Yet instead of soaking it in, I’m striving at something unnecessary, not interacting with the environment around me at all. I’m making things harder, not appreciating God’s Spirit within me.

My mind is working so hard, exhausting the rest of me. It isn’t listening when I tell it to quiet itself— to be still and know…

In my heart, I know I need to set everything aside and just focus my attention onto Jesus— Who He is, how He is, why He’s so necessary to me.

To just worship Him in spirit and in truth.

My mind is scattered in many directions, like the puzzle in front of me now.

In the end, each piece forms a complete picture.

Each of my thoughts, with their jags of emotions, depth of colors and partial images should form the complete picture of Jesus in me— if I reign them in and put them together correctly, as I grab hold of the heart and mind of Christ.

While the chaos of thoughts, concerns and mental “todo’s” get under control, I’ve started to feel that peace. It’s not swirling around me— it just is.

It is always there.

I just get lost in the unimportant things that need to be taken captive unto Christ Jesus.

He is worthy of my purposeful, intentionally focused attention. Everything else is not.

introspection, Purpose of Church

Worshiping in Spirit, in Truth

I’m not a performer.

While I got over “stage-fright” years ago, I don’t like the spotlight. If I could plug in my violin and play from the next room, unseen by anyone, that would be my ideal situation.

Since my husband and I married, Worship has kind of been our “thing”. We’ve been involved with several ministries and churches the past 2 decades. While every experience is different, the focus has most often been the same– God.

At this point in my life, I believe I’m settling into who I am in Christ more. I don’t have to prove myself, I’m a seasoned Christian, with a solid understanding of Scripture, unwavering in my belief and understanding of Who I serve.

But, as settling has occurred, my understanding of certain concepts is changing.

Like the concepts of worship.

The Bible says we worship in spirit and in truth.

My church family says we worship with music.

Do these two ideas contradict one another?

As my husband points out in his latest blog What Worship is Not, there really is not as much emphasis in Scripture about music worship as we sometimes make it seem. There is not an office for Worship Leader.

Do we focus too much on our own definition and understanding of worship?

I know it’s easy to go on the defensive and stop listening when something we believe in strongly is challenged. I’m not set out to challenge, I’m just re-thinking things a bit.

Where in our current recogized system of worship does in spirit and in truth fit in? Sure, we can claim we do these naturally as we focus on God with our spirit, and sing verses written about Biblical truth, and that makes it all fit in a neat, nice little package that is easy on the ears and heart.

But.

Is it all really for God?

Does God need the sound system? Does He need the lights? The projection screens? What about the music and perfect-sounding voices– does God need that?

Is that what worship is to God?

What if we just didn’t have the worship part of the service one Sunday, and just dove straight into the preaching? Would that affect God at all?

If we are honest, our system of worship is really for ourselves. We like the concert-type atmosphere, with our favorite coffee off to the side when we finish. We believe we are ushering His Presence into ours– isn’t it really us just becoming aware of His Presence that is everywhere all the time, and living within those of us who have received Jesus as our Lord and Savior, sealing us with the Holy Spirit?

Individually some do bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the Lord. But, do we corporately? Do we even know what that really means?

How do we worship in spirit? Does it have to involve music?

How do we worship in truth? Do we have to sing to do so?

When I think about Julie Andrews having her voice taken from her, I can’t help but wonder– what would happen if our music abilities or apparatuses were taken from us? Would we stop “worshiping” altogether?