WikiWorship

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contentWikipedia is a collaborative online resource of quickly editable encyclopedic information. The name originated from the Hawaiian word wikiwiki, which means quick, hurry or fast. The founder of this informational resource, Jimmy Wales stated that Wikipedia exists to bring knowledge to everyone who seeks it.

And yet, in most high school and university academic circles its entries are not accepted as reputable references because Wikipedia is user-generated content that is not always verified as accurate, not always appropriate and is often accused of being systemically biased.

 

So what does this have to do with worship?

Worship is not our attempt to be with Jesus, it is our response to having been with Jesus. User-generated worship depends on our actions to connect with Jesus instead of our reactions to a relationship with Jesus. Consequently, user-generated worship is not always accurate, not always appropriate and is often systemically biased.

WikiWorship is…

  • The belief that what we do or how we do it will determine if God shows up.
  • Reducing worship to music alone…and not just any music, but the music I like.
  • Believing that if we sing or play it in a certain style…worship will automatically occur.
  • Assuming true worship began with and will probably end with the music of my generation.
  • Thinking my favorite must also be God’s favorite.
  • Asking God to enter our user-generated story.

Worship that begins with Jesus is entering and doing God’s story.[1]  It is speaking, praying, singing, dancing, playing, telling, preaching, teaching, listening, reading and living God’s story.

Worship in Spirit and Truth is the realization that worship begins with a relationship with Jesus and the response to that relationship is manifested in our worship actions.

Beginning worship with God’s story is the understanding that He has already shown up and is initiating a relationship with us. Our response to His relationship is worship that cannot be contained in a single expression or limited to our contrived actions

Robert Webber wrote, “Reflection on the incarnation and its connection to every aspect of God’s story is the missing link in today’s theological reflection and worship. The link is found in these words: God does for us what we cannot do for ourselves.[2]   

 


[1] Robert E. Webber, Ancient-Future Worship: Proclaiming and Enacting God’s Narrative (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2008), 29.

[2] Ibid., 35.

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2 Responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Harlan Moore on 23.03.14 at 2:48 pm

    Well said, David. I’m of the opinion that every generation sees itself as the “highest form of worship” which interestingly is a form of idolatry! LIttle do we know what heaven is like and how we pale in comparison. The only way out is, as you suggest, getting our heads into God’s story and being authentic in who we are in telling that story. Thanks for helping me think about that again today.

  2. Posted by Jeremy Yarberry on 23.03.14 at 2:48 pm

    I loved this article. I especially enjoyed the line, “Worship in Spirit and Truth is the realization that worship begins with a relationship with Jesus and the response to that relationship is manifested in our worship actions.” In tune with what you said, I would say that worship begins in Jesus and is only through the Spirit. This does not decrease our role and responsibility to respond, but rather gives it power. I recently ran across the passage in John when Jesus told the disciples that it would be better for Him to leave them physically so that the Spirit would come to them, rather than staying with them physically.

    Also, in Luke the disciples are told to wait to be “clothed with power from on high,” before they spoke to the nations. I believe once saved, always saved and that we receive the Holy Spirit upon salvation, and more of Him than we can possibly fathom. However, I believe it’s entirely possible to exhibit a form of godliness but deny the power therein.

    I know this passage is referring to the nonbeliever, but the premise still remains. Is our response based not only upon the revelation of Christ, revealed by the Spirit, but is our response guided, prompted and empowered by the Spirit? We know as worship leaders that the “arm of flesh may fail us, and that “if we in our own strength were to confide our striving would be loosing.”

    Have we allowed the Holy Spirit to cause rebirth in us by yielding to the revelation of Christ? Then do we step out in faith, fully worshiping in the Spirit’s power, and not our own?

    Thanks for the article! I always enjoy these posts!

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