Good Morning True Believers,
We begin this morning’s examination of the Worship album by starting this new blog series that will examine each part of the service as it corresponds to the new CD. This morning’s focus will be on the prelude, but before we get to the prelude, let’s talk a bit about corporate worship. As always, your comments and discussion would be appreciated.
Corporate Worship as we understand it, is the time each week when we get to come before God and each other to celebrate what the Lord has done for us and what the Lord is doing within us. It is a time that we examine our place in the world, and where we allow Gods message to pour over us through the Word, the sermon, the sacraments, and also through the music. We will look at the service in three sections: first Confession, then the Word, and finally Communion. Not every church follows this order, but this is the order in which the CD was laid out, so it will give us a common starting point.
Being a musician, it may come as no surprise that I feel closest to my Lord when I am playing or singing. A great deal of my spiritual mountaintop experiences, have occurred in the midst of a song. Many of the times that I have heard Gods voice speak to me clearly were in the music. That music has taken on a wide variety of styles. Once while singing the Handels’ “Messiah”, I could swear that there were Angels surrounding us and singing with us. I get goose-bumps to this day just thinking about it. Once, long after my marriage had ended and during a very dark period of my divorce, I took such great comfort in the words of Marty Haugen’s Night of Silence, that tears started streaming down my face while playing it. I clearly heard God tell me to pay attention to the lyrics, and let He let me know that He was there with me, and there was hope. The song still effects me the same way every time we play it. And I look forward to that comfort every year as we anticipate the birth of the savior. That being said this discussion will mainly be a commentary on the music and the way that it supports the elements of worship, so without further ado, let’s get started.
Worship is not a passive experience, but an active one that engages our hearts through music, our minds through the Word, and our spirits through the sacraments. It is the first commandment. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, and spirit. Relationships at their core are based on open and honest communication. To achieve that you must first open yourself up to the other person, you must give yourself over. In the world in which we live where information overload from the 24 hour news cycle overwhelms us, there can be no better way to connect with the One who made us, than to slow ourselves down, and empty our minds and focus on Christ, and the cross. To truly hear what the Lord might be telling us, we must be ready to listen actively. That is what the prelude is all about. The Prelude sets the stage active listening to begin. It begins us on the journey so that the relationship with our Lord and Savior may grow, and we may be fed...heart, mind and spirit.