This weekend in Washington I realized the scene I was looking at was somewhat…off.
Multiple youths, adults and in-betweeners–singing a song they didn’t write, to, for some of them, a God they didn’t know.
So…then, let’s talk about:
Love songs and love notes.
Words of affirmation.
We write and we sing and we speak out…and it happens naturally.
The phrase, “Out of the heart the mouth speaks”.
In most area’s of life, we speak out what we believe or are reaching for…
Or, just like when we were little kids…even babies, we cried out to the person or thing we believed was in “control”. The person or thing that might resolve our “issue”.
Worship. Intercession. Prayer.
The songs of David and Asaph. The song of Hagar and the song of Mary.
They were written out of passion, love, admiration or REQUEST to a God they knew intimately. Sometimes, to a God they needed something from, and/or even blamed for whatever present situation they were experiencing.
In the case of David, it was both.
Supplication: He would cry out, “HELP! Help me! You who control all of this! Will you leave me to die? To rot? Will you let my enemy destroy me?”
Admiration: While laying in a field by a stream, in the middle-eastern world, he would sing, “You are so great God! How lovely the land that you’ve set me in is…how full I am! How complete my heart feels!”
With Hagar, she would sing a song to the thing that so intimately saw and encountered her. She felt so “seen” or “known” that she sang out about it!
To Mary, she would sing because of joy. She had been through so much, and blamed God for her victory…and so she sang to tell the world about what He had done.
I don’t want to write a blog about why we worship, or why we sing. However, this moment in time caused a reaction in my brain.
“What are we teaching our young believers?”
We pass on the tradition of singing aloud to an invisible God. At least to many people who sing to Him, He’s invisible.
We read letters written some 2000+ years ago, with an American instrumental pattern to help us make it sound melodic. This is a Christian tradition in modern day American Church.
This isn’t bad. In fact, it seems biblical. But, from another angle, it’s vapid.
I want to submit that it’s odd…strange even, to teach our youth to sing to a God they’ve yet to meet.
Wouldn’t it naturally happen if we focussed our time less on beautiful song lyrics and stages…and more on walking these 100 years WITH THE MAN?
It would be like me taking someone else’s wedding vows and saying them to a stranger.
Why do we worship a stranger?
We shouldn’t. I believe it’s better to get to know someone, then offer up praise…or intimate words, if you know them to be true and heartfelt.
Additionally, why short-cut the process?
What if we spent time discovering God? Discovering how he reacted to different situations? Maybe we’d then, discover some character traits that made us want to affirm Him…Thus! creating a love note/song for Him?
Isn’t that a more simple way of teaching about worship? I don’t believe someone can catch a glimpse of Jesus Christ, without letting out some utterance of, “Whoa! Whoa! Holy…”
For what other reaction can measure up?
Science shows that affirming/appreciated someone out-loud, causes our brain to be open to receiving more truth, affection, trust from said person. How about that? Seems like David knew what he was doing when he challenged all of Israel to, “sing to the Lord”. But you can’t verbalize how you feel about something you’ve never seen/met/learned about.
I feel like making “worship” a tradition we make people do…when they join the “club” of Christianity…is, in some cases a result of laziness. Perhaps not in every situation, but maybe it stems from the lack of time or know-how we have when it comes to introducing one friend to another. Specifically the nations and our children, to our friend Jesus.
You can’t teach someone not in love, to write love songs. Or, you can, but it’s…empty. Whitewashed even.