journalling, Liz was reflecting on the hustle and bustle and lack of space that can often be found within worship as it is hurries along to the finish line. She noted that she was 'sure God roars with laughter at the notion that worship can be packaged and condensed.' And further, asked the question 'what elements are to be sacrificed in order to create space -
the space that we need in worship as a counter to the hustle of daily life?'
A good question.
Which, as I wrote on Liz's blog, sent me back to the basics and further questions:
*What 'is' worship?
*who is it we worship?
*why do we worship - purpose?
*'who' are 'we' anyway?
*how do we try in some measure to achieve whatever 'it' is?
And as ever, those words of Annie Dillard's ring loud and clear in my ears about life preservers and crash helmets, and that worship is an awesomely terrifying business...potentially.
Why is it we seem content to settle for less?
Opt for 59 packed minutes on Sunday at 11...?
On the other hand, planning worship is risky:
one person's idea of fabulous worship is another's horrible nightmare.
Are we guilty of worshipping worship, and forgetting to worship the One who brings us together?
What is 'true' worship?
And how do we know - when it can sometimes be measured only by a sense of our non-objective, utterly subjective selves?
I don't know.
What I do know is that even as we bumble clumsily along the road to authentic worship,
when in that set apart time of the community of the faithful we fill it to overflowing with words and noise and invoke God's name whilst simultaneously attempting to prevent hearing God speak...
even in the midst -
and despite the noise -
in the hustle
of our daily lives.
I wonder... if we were to turn the question
should worship be a counter to the hustle of daily life? on its head:
Rather, should worship be a part of / reflect the hustle of daily life?
Is the way we worship -
that bizarre thing we do when we gather together -
somehow strangely symbolic of the paradox of incarnation
when God broke through the hustle and bustle of our noisy, chattering humanity,
and, in the sound of a new-born's cries, the Word was made flesh?
A moment of gobsmacking awe
even in the noise...