Worship. Contemporary or Traditional? Normative or Regulative? For the enjoyment of God or the satisfaction of my preferences? How does culture relate to worship? These questions and so many more should and must be addressed carefully for the spiritual health and edification of God's people in every local church. In the name of worship, churches intentionally split their congregations for the sake of music preferences - music being only one aspect of worship. Corporate worship at its core is Christocentric not harmo-centric (Yes, this is a made-up word!!!). When Christ, not preference is the center of worship, unity of diversity occurs.
Example of genuine, guileless worship occasionally are brought to center stage in the Gospels. These acts do not occur in some obscure, dark alley setting. In fact, they are in plain sight, but it takes Jesus to point them out to our blind eyes.
Mark 12:41-44 is the story of the widow and the giving of her two coins in the offering box. Her worship is demonstrated by her sacrifice of all; openly displaying her trust in God and love for others. Luke 7:36-50 finds Jesus having table fellowship with Simon the Pharisee. A "sinner" woman is washing the feet of our Lord with her tears, drying them with her hair, and anointing them with expensive perfume. Her worship comes from a grateful heart that is overwhelmed by the forgiveness she has received.
Recently, I had the privilege of observing someone worshiping our Lord with similarity of heart. As I was singing, during corporate worship, I would occasionally hear someone whistling. My first thought, "How dare someone whistle while we are worshiping our Lord in song! Someone needs to find them and shut them up!". I soon heard the whistling again, stopped singing, and noticed the whistling was coming from the lips of my 6-year-old grandson who was standing beside me. I was stunned; not by his whistling but by my hypocrisy. My grandson, at that time was just learning how to read. He was not able to read the words of the current worship song being sung and displayed upon the video monitor. When I listened closely his whistling was attempting to mimic the tune of what we were singing. He didn't know nor could he read the words, BUT he could whistle the tune to the Lord. He was not allowing his inability to control his worship. I was humbled, repented, and finished the song with tears in my eyes. A little child, who could not read, was leading his graduate-educated grandfather back to the heart of worship.
Blessings as you prepare for worship this Lord's Day,