Wednesday, October 11, 2006


"One reason why we Christians argue so much about which hymn to sing, which liturgy to follow, which way to worship is that the commandments teach us to believe that bad liturgy eventually leads to bad ethics. You begin by singing some sappy, sentimental hymn, then you pray some pointless prayer, and the next thing you know you have murdered your best friend."
(Stanley Hauerwas)

Is my liturgy good or bad? Do I sing sappy, sentimental songs that eventually lead to bad ethics?
I do not want to say that my worship is bad or that the songs that I like to sing are sappy and sentimental. I can more easily point out how other people's worship is bad and how the songs that they sing are sappy and sentimental. But I should really look at my life first.
I think I get into sappy and sentimental when I sing songs that I do not mean or do not understand. I remember singing as a child "Put on the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness..." What on earth is "spirit of heaviness"? Or I sing "I feel like dancing" when I do not feel like dancing. Or "I raise my hands" when my hands are at my side. Now I am going to quickly defend myself. I think I can do some of this in my heart, without doing it in my body. At least I think I can. I could very well be wrong on this one.
Another way that my worship is bad is when it does not focus at all on Yahweh but just focuses on me or something else. Prayer that just about my needs and requests (no praise, no thanksgiving, no praying for others, no confession).
Through true worship I encounter Yahweh and this changes me to reflect his image I need to very aware of my worship.

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