Pure Praise REvamped : “When Does Worship Stop?”
Pure Praise Week Two – Day 1 : “When Does Worship Stop?”
On a recent Sunday following Christmas, I ended our worship with “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”. There were many who were wondering “why a Christmas song?” when Christmas had already passed by. It would have been just as easy for me to have explained that both of our local campuses were doing the same songs and ended it at that – but I took the time to explain the song based on the liturgical church to our congregation.
You see, in the liturgical church, Christmas did not end once December 25th was over…it began. The Christmas holiday continued in celebration for ten days after the celebration of the birth of Christ and, as I explained to the congregation … “the angels are still celebrating to this day.”
We find an amazing account of worship in Revelation 4. It is an account of a worship service that I wish I could see firsthand. I gather, however, from Revelation 4:8 that I will get that chance.
“ 8And the four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around and within; and day and night they do not cease to say, “HOLY, HOLY, HOLY is THE LORD GOD, THE ALMIGHTY, WHO WAS AND WHO IS AND WHO IS TO COME.” “
Notice again that they never stopped praising!
From time to time, don’t we run into the trap of trying to put too many mechanics into worship? No, I am not referring to packing up the Christmas songs just as quick as the Santa décor goes into the attic – but don’t we allow other distractions to hinder worship? Have you ever sensed the Spirit moving you to reprise a chorus of a worship song only to catch the silhouette of the pastor making his way to the stage and think “I’m cutting into his sermon time if I do…so I’d better not.” Are you locked into the same order of worship that you’ve been doing for the past few years and scared that you’ll offend someone by changing it? My challenge to you is this : the next time you are tempted to turn off the worship because of an outside interference, recall Jesus words in Luke 19. The disciples were praising Jesus to the top of their lungs – and the Pharisees thought it was hardly the time or the place. In essence, the Pharisees ordered Jesus to make the disciples behave. Jesus didn’t take a moment of hesitation before he explained exactly what happens when mechanics limit worship.
But he said, “If they kept quiet, the stones would do it for them, shouting praise.”
The choice is ours. We can choose to praise – or the praise will be done for us. Praise is inevitable.
Can you recall a time in worship when the Spirit led and you followed? What happened? What was the response? We’d love to hear your stories!
We look forward to hearing your thoughts as you share them on the blog. Please log in to the discussions at www.gotworship.net and leave your comment.
Jason Whitehorn, Founder of www.gotworship.net
Note: This series is based on the book Pure Praise by Dwayne Moore. We highly encourage you get this book to aid you in your ministry. More details on the book can be obtained from the author’s website here