This morning's worship was good--well, the part that I was there for was good. I have this horrible, nasty habit of leaving early to do Children's Church. Okay, it's not a nasty habit, it's a place of service. Sheesh...so much for a joke! Anyway, the music selection was very good and very worshipful.
One of my favorite parts today was the children's choir special. With a mini-soloist, they sang Come, Now Is the Time To Worship. I love it when the children sing. They're willing to do what almost all adults are unwilling or unable to do: stand in front of a crowd and sing! Even with some of them not being able to sing, they come to God and sing their little hearts out. They definitely are making a joyful noise to God. We adults (like I'm really an adult!) can learn something from these kiddies, I think.
What struck me most, though, was the song itself. It's a worship song the youth group I worked with back home in Nashvegas used to do a lot. I haven't heard it much since arriving in Louisville (or L-town as I shall now call it). The singer encourages those listening to come as they are before God to worship. I know some who say we need to prepare for worship, confess sin, etc. I agree with that to a point, but if we have to be perfect before we ever worship: 1) we will never come to God for worship because we can never be perfect or 2) we will not realize that in Christ, we are perfect before a God and can come boldly before His throne because of Christ's righteousness (Heb 4:16).
Now, all that said, I think we must confess sin before worship and prepare our hearts for it, but there is something profound about coming how we are before God. Coming before God without pretense, mask or wall is an amazing thought, no? So often we come to God with a pretense of being fine and strong, when in reality, we are hurting and weak. We don't want to embrace our weakness because it goes against our human mindset. In the same we, we face each others as fellow fallen humans in dire need of grace putting on the same masks. We're so afraid of being vulnerable (and I am so pointing at me on this one, folks).
Yet, we are called to come to God and embrace our weaknesses. In our weakness, we are strong. When we come before God, we need to let go of all the junk that has built up, drop our sodden linens and stand before Him naked and unashamed (spiritually and emotionally only!). Just like lovers are not ashamed, so we should not be ashamed before our God. If we are, there are issues we need to work on with Him. There are things that need to be dealt with.
Weak's the new strong, I guess. We need to not be ashamed to be weak or in pain. We need to not be ashamed to allow those things to be visible and to tell others instead of putting some hypocritical, safe mask so that everyone will think we are better than we actually are. Come just as we are...we should be so blessed and fortunate to do so....
until Christ is formed in us...