worship: it's a WHOLE thing
The last few weeks our church, Life Church Vineyard, has been hearing a new sermon series called "One Thing". It is about worship. Worship as a whole thing. The writers, our pastor and the pastor from our sister church, Lancaster Vineyard Church, even broke this series down into curriculum for our small groups. I lead a women's small group and we have been really enjoying the study. We follow up Sunday's message with some discussions and group activities based on the message. This week we talked about worshipping with our bodies. Now this could be taken many different ways. But basically it means; showing our reverence and honor to the Father by getting our whole self (mind, BODY, soul and strength) into it. Throughout this entire series and small group study, I have asked my small group members to share with the group what songs they have been enjoying as we go along. The variety has been interesting to see and hear.
We met last night and read through 2 Samuel 6:12-16, 20-22. King David was escorting the ark of the Lord into the city, and is is seen dancing, celebrating, trumpet sounds are heard, and he was leaping. Saul's daughter Michal saw this out her window and it says, "she despised him in her heart". She felt as if it was not a proper way to be behaving as such a relic, the ark of the Lord (vs 12-16) was being brought through the City of David. But, King David replied to Michal's reaction saying, "It was before the Lord, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from this house when he appointed me ruler over the Lord's people Israel- I will celebrate before the Lord." (vs 21) King David goes even further than this in saying to her, "I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes." (vs 22) Man what boldness to tell someone, "I don't care what you think of me and how I decide to worship, I am going to do it anyway because I love the Lord and feel this is appropriate for me".
During group we discussed our comfort level in our own body language while we worship, in service or in private. I then did an exercise with a specific worship song. I played the song "Gratitude" by Brandon Lake, the version from The Chosen Christmas movie. If you have seen the movie or watched the video on YouTube, then you know how expressive he is as he sings the song. However, for this exercise, we listened without watching. I asked the group to close their eyes and listen as he sang and imagine what his body might be doing based on the dynamics of the song. It was quite moving to simply listen to the lyrics.
I will share them with you:
All my words fall short I got nothing new How could I express All my gratitude? I could sing these songs As I often do But every song must end And You never do So I throw up my hands And praise You again and again 'Cause all that I have is a hallelujah Hallelujah And I know it's not much But I've nothing else fit for a King Except for a heart singing hallelujah Hallelujah I've got one response I've got just one move With my arm stretched wide I will worship You So I throw up my hands And praise You again and again 'Cause all that I have is a hallelujah Hallelujah And I know it's not much But I've nothing else fit for a King Except for a heart singing hallelujah Hallelujah So come on, my soul Oh, don't you get shy on me Lift up your song 'Cause you've got a lion inside of those lungs Get up and praise the Lord Oh come on, my soul Oh, don't you get shy on me Lift up your song 'Cause you've got a lion inside of those lungs Get up and praise the Lord Come on, my soul Oh, don't you get shy on me Lift up your song 'Cause you've got a lion inside of those lungs Get up and praise the Lord, hey Praise the Lord Praise the Lord Praise the Lord So I throw up my hands Praise You again and again 'Cause all that I have is a hallelujah Hallelujah And I know it's not much But I've nothing else fit for a King Except for a heart singing hallelujah Hallelujah
If you read closely, he is not coming to the Father in a grandiose fashion. He is lifting his hands, stretching them out wide, and all that he has to offer is a simple hallelujah. Hallelujah by definition means; an expression of worship. It doesn't give a list of what that looks like. In our own ways we can come to the Father in our version of "hallelujah". Lifting our hands, stretching them out wide, kneeling, lying prostrate on the floor. We don't need to wait till we feel worthy to worship. Folks, we will never be worthy, but God is worthy to be praised. And if all we have is a simple hallelujah, the Lord will hear it and be pleased. We can worship in our low times, in our high times, at all times. We can praise and worship in it all, because He is good all the time, and all the time He is good. However it looks for you, just worship with ALL you ARE and ALL you HAVE, because it's a WHOLE thing!
To watch the video: https://youtu.be/dQdfs5S6jyA