As the ark of the LORD was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD, she despised him in her heart. – 2 Samuel 6:16
Lutheran worship can be a rather laid back, solemn, sometimes tired affair. There are moments, however, when we seem to let loose, not quite like David, and clap our hands or hop around pretending we were a South African congregation. Generally though, we’re formal and very orderly about worship. There are times when I enjoy this aspect of the way we worship and at other times I need something else.
How we worship is not so much the issue for me. We certainly must remain authentic and have some order to our worship, but the issue is not how we worship. Rather, it’s how we look at the worship of others and even how we respond to the expressed worship needs of our own people.
Sometimes like Michal, the daughter of Saul, there ‘s a certain arrogance within our church about the way we worship. It implies that there is somehow a “right” way to worship and of course, we have it. At the same time, comments are occasionally made about the worship of other churches as if it were “entertainment” rather than “true” worship.
Now I’m not saying that all worship is the best or even that it’s all okay just the way it is. Sometimes even our worship slips into self-centered entertainment and performance whether in music or preaching. Whether as Lutheran or Baptist churches we’re all prone to making worship more about us than about God.
So what if we made less fuss about the how of our worship or someone elses and began to affirm whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable (Philippians 4:8)? I wonder whether in the process we would learn some new ways to worship and live together in God’s kin-dom.