I have been sufering from horrible migraines the last three weeks which have been directly caused by a lingering sinus infection. After repeated failed attempts to rid myself of the infection through natural means (forget water boarding lets just use a netipot on terrorists), I finally broke down and went to the urgent care to get some good old fashioned antibiotics, and some prednisone for the swelling. I know some folks don't like traditional western medicine, but sometimes it really is just what the doctor ordered, and those that know me know my mantra in all things is balance.
This whole thing got me thinking. As always my thinking brought me back around to my faith in God. I have always tried to base my walk with God on balance. God is the all powerful creator and as such we need to approach Him with all the awe and and reverence that He deserves. He is also our source of comfort and help, He is father (i.e. daddy) to the fatherless, Husband to the widow, and brings Joy to those who mourn. He is Lord and King, the righteous judge, the drill seargent if you will bringing discipline into our lives. He is also our closest friend and confidant, giver of mercy, and lover of our souls. He allows tradgedy to befall us yet never what we cannot handle and always works things out for our greater good, though we may not realize it at the time.
Worship becomes more of a conversation and a journey through song to where God wants his people to be
This balance naturally influence me when selecting songs for worship each Sunday. The first thing I do is ask 'what does God want to sayto his people this week through worship and what does He want from us in return.' Worship becomes more of a conversation and a journey through song to where God wants his people to be, preparing their hearts to receive the word that will be shared by our pastor. The I try to balance a healthy respect for past traditions and a need to continually move forward when it comes to the actual selection of songs, balancing both traditional hymns and choruses with more contemporary songs, always deferring to which ones will forward the theme God has given me. One of my guiding rules is to select one traditional hymn each week (this doesn't always happen, but the majority of the time I can find a hymn that will flow both thematically and musically). I also like to include songs that that speak about our God to others and songs that allow us to express ourselves to God directly. I do have some personal preferences as well, like wanting the opening song to have some element of inviting people into worship and the closing song having an anthem quality to it.
GOD should always be the focus of our worship.
The most important aspect in our worship, not just our songs by he way, is authenticity. People, whether they are in our congregations on Sunday morning or our next door neighbors, need to see us worship i.e. serve in Spirit and in Truth. We don't need to puff ourselves up, our worship services are not a concert, and you are not the star. GOD should always be the focus of our worship.