I am grateful for this today:
“I was in the fifth grade when a family friend told me that the church I attended didn’t worship correctly. For one, we read a translation of the Bible other than the King James. Secondly, it was unacceptable to God that we use musical instruments in worship. This was the first time that I ever knew that there were different ways to worship God and that there might be a right and wrong way to worship, or at least a better or worse way.
I carried this right/wrong/better/worse view with me for a long time. I attended services where I thought that more people should be raising their hands and others where the hand-raising/clapping/dancing was a bit much for me. I heard prayers that seemed inauthentic in the way in which they were precisely scripted and others that felt chaotic where the person rambled on and on and on and on. I heard music that I thought could use more life, more passion, more drums! Then I heard music and thought, “They should lose the drummer, or at least find one who could stay in rhythm.” I critiqued every worship experience – too boring, too out there, too loud, too unorganized, too, too, too, too… It’s exhausting being a worship judge (and frankly the pay stinks).
I came to a point where I reflected on the most moving worship experiences I’ve experienced. I realized that they had very little to do with style and content, and more to do with purpose and outcome.
For me, at the very root of worship is the fact that I adore Jesus. I do. From a very tender place in my soul springs a strong current that longs to connect to my Savior. He’s where I find peace, wholeness, life, and joy. I’ve discovered that my ability to connect with Jesus is not bound by style, biblical translation, pastor, music, or anything else. When I put on my judge’s hat and get caught up in these things, I lose sight of why, and sometimes even who I worship. What a shame and wasted opportunity. When we put those distractions aside, we realize that worship can be found in multiple ways. Worship is simply adoring Jesus. No matter the style or setting, our truest moments of worship either spring up from or lead us to this adoration.” – Written by Janelle Gregory, Human Resource Specialist at The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection; emphasis by Rhonda