It’s not very often that a sermon stays with me for an entire week. But for some reason the sermon I heard last week keeps popping back into my thoughts. For the past two weeks our pastor has been explaining the “why” behind our service. The first week he talked about the first half of our service (liturgy of the Word), order and last week he talked about the second half (liturgy of the Table). He made this observation: Everything we do on Sunday morning in the service is a celebration. It’s a party. It’s time to bring out the best linen and the best plates because it is no ordinary day, levitra but a celebration day.
Sunday worship is a celebration. So simple, troche yet so profound.
And yet, if this is the case, why do our church services feel more like funerals? I get that there is a goal of being reverent, but too often, the attempt to be reverent misses and it becomes depressing instead.
Hymns that are played a half a beat (or even more) too slow.
Songs that have no joy.
Songs that are not singable by the congregation.
Songs that are theologically correct but have no heart, no depth, and no emotion.
There’s been a lot of bashing of evangelicalism lately on the blogosphere, with lots of talk of how evangelical churches do things wrong, even how they do worship wrong by dumbing it down.
And yet, I’m finding myself more and more appreciative of evangelical worship. Good evangelical worship has heart.
There are songs that are happy-clappy.
There are songs that you can’t help but tap your toes to, and you leave church still humming.
There are songs that cause me to throw my hands up in praise and surrender at the majesty of the Risen King.
There are songs that touch my heart and cause me to cry tears of joy.
There are songs where the only proper response afterwards is a sanctuary-filling “AMEN!”
And so I find myself trying to figure out how to marry the best of both worlds. How do I embrace the liturgy and tradition of the church that I’m attending and yet still nurture that need for joyful worship that is found in the evangelical tradition? As much as I can put Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, and Paul Baloche on my playlist and plug in my earphones, it’s not the same as corporate worship.
Maybe this is just evidence that I’m not as far down the Canterbury Trail as I had assumed.