Thursday, July 16, 2009

I think this is plagarism

I sat beside my friend Tammy in chapel yesterday morning... and had the following experience with her. I went home and told my husband about it - the best part of my day. When I read Tammy's blog I stole it and reprinted it here. She says it better than I could:

If you can talk, you can sing

So, today I went to was a great service.

At the beginning of the service, we sang two songs. I had a couple come into the pew behind me and sit. They had what seemed like 12 children....I think it might have been 4. Anyhow, we started to sing, In Christ Alone.

The congregation begins to sing...what I heard next was absolutely breathtaking. One of the little boys behind me....he was maybe 3...he begins to sing. He knows the tune, but he only knows maybe 2 words in every verse. But it doesn't stop him from singing....he sings....he belts it out.....saying words that made no sense to me, sprinkled with a correct word here and one there....I had to close my eyes and listen.

There were so many things going through my head. First off, why is that we adults over-think everything....why are we not free to worship, really worship....belting it out with all our hearts as loud as we can with no regard to the person in front of us. Next, I listened to this little guy's mom....he sang just like her....she was belting it out, of course she knew all the words. This little guy has been in church with his mom, watching, listening and now following after her. She is teaching him how to worship. Last I wondered how this little guy's song sounded to God....was the Father closing His eyes, drinking in the pure worship of such a sweet soul. Then I wondered, what does my song sound like to my Father.

If you can talk, you can sing;
If you can walk, you can dance.


John David Walt said...

amma iva-- what you are describing here is clearly a clearly defined practice of worship. we were gathered together in a sanctuary in Jesus name. there was a worship leader. we engaged in prayer together. we sang songs together. we listened to God's word together and we shared in the Koinonia of the Spirit together. the corporate practice is what made possible the personal expression.

without this kind of practice-- the practice of a gathered people--- you have no cohesiveness-- no shared lifestyle of a scattered people. they are simply a bunch of individuals trying to do good which often devolves into self-oriented sentimental service.

think about the Church in North Korea-- why on Earth do they risk execution to gather for a clearly defined practice of worship? because without that, they lose their identity-- both as persons and as a People. they lose their peopled-ness.

what i think you react against in my claim that without a clearly defined practice of worship there will be no lifestyle of worship--- is our own very clear and legitimate experience of the diabolical hypocrisy of people we have seen week after week engaging in a sham ritual practice of worship that effectively covered over who they really were. they were wearing the clearly defined practice as a cloak to hide their own inner darkness and hard heartedness. this is crushing and perhaps the most deformative reality in the Church. another deadly blow to corporate worship is the spirit of legalism and control which snuffs out the Spirit of God in the gathering-- despite the music going on. this is why so many people leave the church and disavow corporate worship as "organized religion."

but why should we let this deadly caricature of a worship practice define the practice of worship for us. why can't we just say that was wrong-- not what we are talking about-- and disavow it. Jesus seemed to do just that-- with a vengeance.

the scene Tammy describes yesterday-- that is the very essence of what I am talking about when I say worship as a clearly defined practice--- this is what leads to a clearly defined life--- which in turn even more deeply enriches the corporate practice.

are we getting closer to one another on this one?

Krissi said...

Oh, JD. My, my.

This is a fantastic post. I love having children around in worship. They're such a fascinating picture of God. Sad I forgot what day it was yesterday! Next time, remind me.

rachel said...

yes. that.

Marilyn said...

hmmm- thinking about it. I do believe that one of the main reasons we need to gather - one of the reasons I keep returning to the congregation is because we need to be in a place where we say who we are, and say it together. I have changed greatly in thinking the congregation must be 'thus or so' must have a certain style or theology. If it is orthodox, and I have one friend there, it is enough. How is that for reducing things to their essentials? I have moved FAR from the church as a place to move my emotions or to provide some entertaining or even thoughtful 'program'. I go to be there. To say who I am. To sing the songs that have been sung. To acknowledge that I am not alone.

So in a way we are saying the same thing - but I wonder if that boy really learned to sing a song by being in church or by seeing it lived at home?

Krissi said...

It's not plagiarism if you site the source.

John David Walt said...

amma iva- you are being cantankerous. ;0)

Anonymous said...

Ooooh sweet Marilyn, the Holy Spirit is sooooo sweet. This past Sunday, I became a little child and closed my eyes and sang to Jesus, not paying attention to the tune or to who was around me but sang the truth of the words. What an experience! Coming from an ethnic church it was natural to WORSHIP. When I came here I found out that as long as I forgot that it wasn't about me and that my little world didn't matter, I realized that I still could WORSHIP!