At the beginning of this week I asked myself one simple question. “Why worship?” Given that one of the most important roles I play in community is to lead worship, you would think I’d already answered this question for myself, but you’d be wrong. I have a heart for worship, every bit of my being longs to worship, like prayer I feel that I am right with God when I worship, I even have some notion of a desired outcome of worship, but I had, before this week, never sat down and constructed a theology of the specific act of communal worship. I’m not sure I have even now, for the answer I have reached this week feels more like a waypoint on a journey than a final destination, provisional, so I offer you a tour, not an answer, a trip through my heart and my head.
It all began with this week’s psalm, classified as a psalm of praise. In fact, praise psalms provide the text for this second Sunday, as well as the sixth and final Sunday, of this series. The first line of the psalm is a directive, Praise the Lord! We more often hear it in its Hebrew form, or some derivative of that form, where it is simply this: Hallelujah! Hebrew spelling, Latin version, doesn’t matter, it is always an instruction. Praise the Lord! Continue reading →