I realised I hadn’t posted on my blog for a while so here is something to think about.
What is at the heart of worship?
I think this time of lockdown we have been in has raised all kinds of questions about worship. Many are enjoying the chance to worship together online and it seems they enjoy it more than just something to keep us going. Some would like us to continue it after lockdown. This may be possible – although it may have to be a different time or done with different technology.
However, perhaps this gives us a chance to think about what worship actually is and what should be in it. Much of the online worship I’ve experienced has taken a very traditional approach. Hymns, readings, prayers, sermons, etc. I guess after 2000 years of adjusting to a pattern it might be we have the ideal formulae. However, technology ought to give us all kinds of other ways of doing things.
If we do watch a video of a song, for instance, is that worship or does it need to be connected to readings and a sermon to qualify? If we then watched five songs and had no prayer time would it be worship? If we watched them together would it be communal worship?
Which brings me back to my question of what is at the heart of worship?
I think the clue to the answer is probably in the word heart. Worship has to be about acknowledging who God is and who God is to us personally – but doesn’t that have to come from the heart?
Perhaps the problem is that we need to make a distinction between worship and an act of communal worship. Perhaps, although related, they are different things. Communal worship without the heart of worship in it though is a lifeless and pointless thing. So when does communal worship just become a form of entertainment? Is it wrong to be entertained while we worship? I hope not.
I appreciate there are more questions than answers and whilst I could tell you what I think I would hope that what we are experiencing now gives us the chance to get together and talk through some of these things to see how they might become tools for us in our living out our Christian faith.