Sunday is for church. It’s a weekly spot for reflection, worship, and mostly, family fellowship. In fact, Sunday is probably my favourite day, and there’s something about my church that simply overwhelms me, each and every 7 day interval…
I attend a small baptist church, consisting of a multicultural membership, and a passionate people of praise; it’s exactly this, that I want to talk about. If you were to attend one of our services, perhaps initially, you’d be taken aback by the slightly disorientated worship style… By disorientated, I’m talking about drums, guitars, bass guitars, the lot, accompanied by 10 children on tambourines and a very enthusiastic triangle player. Not too bad? I suppose it wouldn’t be, if the drummer (that being me) was able to keep in time, and sing in tune, despite the off-putting young percussionists. It’s a mad house. Don’t get me wrong, it often does sound wonderful but every now and then, it all goes a bit pear shaped…
The thing is, nobody seems to mind! We may not be granted a diploma in music, but we come as we are, and give what we have to worship. The congregation sing their loudest anyway, we laugh together when things go wrong, and we simply worship from the heart – we let the spirit move us! In fact, as I write this I’m reminded of the worship song by Matt Redman called the heart of worship, and it says, “I’ll bring You more than a song, for a song in itself is not what You have required. You search much deeper within, through the way things appear, You’re looking into my heart.” I guess that’s it – when we worship, it’s not about our talents, or how good our worship is, for all God truly cares about is our hearts! Worship is an act of the heart – a desire to know God more, and a deep love, as well as reverence, for who God is… Worship isn’t a chore, with a set criteria list but a lifelong, passionate, expressive journey of living in relationship with God. Worship is between you and God, and for that reason, we come as we are!
As well as the passionate worship, something else really seemed to grip me last week especially… Within our church, we have many different cultures including members from Africa, Jamaica, and Spanish speaking countries. Our church thrives upon culture! However, often our cultural families arrive late to church and by this, I mean half way through the service. Many, would stare, or become frustrated at their regularly late arrival, yet how would this be hospitable? It’s practically normal at our church, and so we welcome them, move over, and allow them to be seated, despite the time! They know that they can come as they are.
I’m not simply sitting here, condemning every other church and boasting about mine (for I am confident that every church welcomes people to come as they are) but simply giving it as an example… This act of love is so inspiring and recently, has deeply inspired me; we come as we are, to worship, and despite our weaknesses, differences and lifestyles, we all fall in grace before God, in a fellowship of people, worshipping together as the body of Christ, having been called precious sons and daughters, all because of the cross.
So next time you worship, make it from the heart – go as you are, not how you think you should be, and encounter God’s gracious, compassion.