This past Sunday I was watching as my worship leader sang a beautiful song of praise. At the end we all sang “Holy! Holy! Holy! Lord God Almighty” It was nice. My church delivers a very complete worship package. I can sing along with my leader on the screen, who is beamed to me from a location somewhere far away. He usually has lovely pictures of doves and clouds scrolling behind him. During the interlude, I pause as I watch the electric guitar guy really rock the old hymn. My emotions swell along with the drummer’s beat.
As nice as this pre-processed worship experience is, it dawned on me that worship–true worship–probably can not be mediated. Just watching moving pictures or listening to electrified music is not worship. And just like the technology that is put between me and my pastor mediates and changes our relationship, so is my worship experience changed when it is mediated by someone else doing the worship work for me. Real worship happens when I enter in. When my entire body, mind and soul becomes engaged in praising God, that is when I catch a glimpse of the awesome power of God–that is when I catch a glimpse of a God who is overwhlemingly bigger than any problem or hang up I might have.
Unfortunately, those true worship experiences don’t happen that often. I tend to get caught up in the technology and the experience that has been pre-processed for me. It makes me lazy and only involves part of my being. But every now and then, I let it go. I remember why I am really there–not to be entertained but to participate–not to have someone else bring me to the throne of God, but to enter in myself.
So, I think this Sunday, I won’t think so much. I won’t worry about what everyone else is doing. I won’t wait for the billowing clouds or the musical interludes. I will be committed to humble myself and enter into the presence of the Almighty God.