Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Joy of Worship

My next quote from Harrison's book:

"What is it that makes Christian joy, and the joy of worship, so profound, so expansive, so freeing, so . . . well, joyful? For me it's the continued surprise and wonder of not being rejected by Christ. It's the delight of being invited into his presence - not to perform or recount my deeds, but to be forgiven and accepted precisely as a sinner, to hear of the deeds of Christ recounted for me and be the recipient of those deeds here and now. My heart and mind are struck ever new, and constructed anew, in ways I cannot predict. I come burdened, I leave in joy. Greatest wonder of wonders, the Lord rejoices precisely over sinners! "He will rejoice over thee with joy!" (Zephaniah 3:17)"

One of the things that struck me about this quote was this: "My heart and mind are struck ever anew, and constructed anew, in ways I cannot predict." I wonder if one of the problems with much new and modern worship is that in all its efforts to be unpredictable and ever new, it works awful hard to work toward a predictable outcome - of emotion, of response, of being "spirit-filled," or so forth. Yet the liturgy, with its comfortable predictability, produces unpredictable results, as the Word and Spirit of God do the work, and we are "constructed anew" in the way He knows we need. And the result is joy. Joy in His work. Joy in the life He gives. Joy in His forgiveness.

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