Praise the Lord!
Too often we “sleepwalk” through worship services. We don’t really worship or offer true praise.
But at other times we are struck by the realization that we are in the presence of the Lord of the Universe, that the Creator is with us. Sometimes we get a sense of our creatureliness, of how small we are. Just as we are about to succumb to genuine fear, we are assured that God draws near in love, mercy, and peace. In these moments we cannot help but respond with genuine “hosannas!” and “Blessed is he who come in the name of the Lord!” In these moments it indeed seems that if we don’t praise God, then the rocks surely will!
—Dr. Mitzi Minor
- How do you approach or prepare for worship on Sunday mornings?
- When did you last offer genuine praise to God? What moved you to do so?
- What has been the most meaningful worship service you have attended? What made it so meaningful?
- Do you know the tradition and theology behind the parts of the worship service at your church? Do you think others in your church know? Reflect on some of these.
How Do I Act?
- Take the time to analyze your positive experiences of worship. When you have had a moving experience of worship, what was your contribution? Were you thoughtful, reflective, contemplative, prayerful beforehand? Where you quiet and still? Dis you pay close attention to the words of hymns or the words of scripture when read? Become aware of what you have done and can do again to make worship meaningful.
- Take the time to analyze your “blah” experience of worship. When worship has meant little to you, what was your contributions? Were you distracted, angry at family members, feeling far from God? Be aware of what you have done to make worship meaningless. Resolve for six weeks to prepare for and participate in worship differently. See if your experiences of worship change.
- Gather a group of church members to discuss the worship service at your church. Discuss why you do what you do in worship. Ask your pastor to discuss the theology and practice of worship with you. What might you do differently? Share something about worship at another church you have visited that you like and discuss whether it would be good for your church.
- After your group had done all of the above, you will be “experts” on your church’s worship. So, accept the responsibility of teaching the youth and children about worship. Share with them what worship is and why you do what you do. Ask them what would make worship meaningful and discuss ways to involve then more in your church’s worship.