Thursday, October 11, 2012

Thought of the Day !!

Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
   worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.
                                                      Psalm 29:2 (NIV)

Back in the 19th century there was a man who lived in Copenhagen named Soren Kierkegaard.  Kierkegaard was a Danish philosopher who was concerned about the life of the Danish church. He wrote a discourse in which he asked the question of how people approached worship in 1843.  But it still raises important issues for us today.

Kierkegaard said that most of the people had grown used to going to plays. For us today, we'd have to add going to movies as well.

We go in, take our seat, and sit back to watch what happens.  Then we become the audience. What's important is what happens on the stage, or on the big screen.  We're there to watch, to be entertained.

But what happens when we come to worship? We come in, and we take our seat.  Then, according to Kierkegaard…too often…we sit back to watch what happens. We take our place and become the audience.

Sometimes we are invited to join in the singing or repeat some words. But there isn't really a lot of difference. We're the audience.  And as such we watch what is happening up on stage, while being entertained.  (If you don't believe the part about being entertained, ask yourselves if you were visiting and heard a boring preacher, if you'd come back or not.)

Kierkegaard explained that in worship everything should be turned upside-down.  This is because worship isn't about us…or even for us. It's about and for God. We're not the audience. In worship, God is the audience. He's sitting in the seats, watching and listening to our worship.

But if God is the audience, who are the actors? Kierkegaard says that those who are in the congregation are the actors!  Those on stage are the directors, not the entertainers.  And together all in the church speak the lines, offer the praise and act out the parts. 

It's a radically different way of looking at worship. It means that you can't just come and sit, because the most important stuff doesn't take place up front at the pulpit or piano or choir loft! You can't come and just watch. You're invited, you're encouraged, you're required to participate, to be a part of worshiping God. And if you don't, your lines won't get said!
In the love of Christ,


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