Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Worship is About God

I have had reason to revisit an earlier post on worship because of some continuing comment. The point of that previous post is that worship is not about us and receiving what we think God should give. Of course, different styles suit different people, and bad liturgy and worship is still bad. Yes, but the point still remains that worship is about God, not us, and coming to worship with minimal expectations is best. If we could do this then our perceived absence of God in worship might become a gift that leads somewhere deeper. Instead the temptation is to be complacent with the boredom or to seek variety (and move churches). Spiritually it is tougher, but potentially more important, to remain worshiping where you think God is absent without being complacent. 

Moreover, such a practice (of remaining where we perceive God to be absent) is a spiritual practice that will serve us well when we face those intense times and places of God's absence, like sickness and death. Working with our need to tell God where and how God should be present is a spiritual practice that can lead to spiritual maturity. This 'working with our need to tell God' will include questioning God ("Where are you?" "Why have you deserted me?"), but that is part of the faith experience. But if we rant at God from a position of waiting for God, then such questioning is productive and does not need to lead to atheism.

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