Monday, June 27, 2011

Why "Rowdy" Worship Is Apporpriate

Several years ago, I was at the wedding of one of my dearest friends and I was so happy that all I could do was grin from ear to ear and dance. I was so joyful that the only truly appropriate and satisfying outlet was dancing.

I am actually in both of these, can you find me?

Dani and Jon danced. Don't they just look so happy?

Frank and Betsy Broke it down, and they weren't the only ones.

In contrast, I stand at the back of youth group and wonder about the dancing and the fast-paced songs. What is the jumping really all about? Teenagers tend to do things in groups, so is it just because it is what everyone is doing? Are we really honoring God with jumping and yelling and clapping and laughing?  That voice is answered by another, I wish that I had the freedom to jump- somehow it seems right. I feel like dancing, but I can't seem to get my body to move that way. I really know and respect that young woman's spiritual life and there she is, jumping up and down and waiving her hands in the air- why should that be strange to me?

Why is it that I can dance at a wedding, but not at church? Yesterday I got a glimer of an answer to that question. I was listening to this song on the way to church, and it was such a great call to worship. Seriously, listen to it, I know that it is another 3 minutes of your time, but I promise it is worth it. The rythyms are intertwined with lyrics about Christ marrying the church, redeeming us as lovers (love- ED lovers, who respond to a perfect love, not those who love first) and then tied in again with the second coming, salvation, evangelism, and communion. I could not help but go into church ready to lift my voice, broken and sinful because I do have hope. How could I not have hope when there is such love in the world? How could I not dance? How could I not take the up and the bread and wine? How could I not participate, honor, and celebrate with other worshipers when this call rings with my Spirit? It has been a long time since I have felt the call to dance and celebrate in worship in such clear theological terms.

"So lift your voice just one more time
If there’s any hope may it be a sign
That everything was made to shine
Despite what you can see"

My skeptical, self-protective heart does not easily engage in worship in song, let alone dance. And here is a clear, compelling truth saying "lift your voice, Sarah, if there is any hope that may be a sign that everything was made to shine despite what we can see." Here is an acknowledgement that Love in its smallest form births hope, that even in the hardest of hearts, and in the smallest amounts, it is a reason to sing and dance. Such a God is well-met by drums, shouts, yawps, and intruments. Such a God is well-met by teenagers jumping, yelling, and dancing because they see something about God that I have missed.

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