I’m getting a head start this week on my notes for the Lectionary readings. Today I spent with Psalm 98. You can download the notes from my box.net account. Here’s an excerpt:
This is David dancing before the ark like a mad-man. Do the expressions of praise ever end? Do the varieties of worship ever find conclusion? Is there any way in which we should not praise and worship? If God indeed invites rivers, mountains, and seas and rocks to join in the praise—where then should our worship stop?
This is the final act of unity for all of creation: Every knee bowing and every tongue confessing that Jesus Christ is Lord. Is this anything less than what God demands?
Our worship is too sedentary. Our worship is far too complacent. Our worship is far too mundane, controlled, and earth bound. We don’t really sing to the Redeemer, King and Judge; the one who Was, and Is, and Is to Come; the One who is the Same Yesterday, Today and Forever. Our worship is far too centered here on earth instead of on the great spiritual realities, that God has revealed in his Victories and Salvation. Have we really come into the presence of the King?
Do we know what the Lord ‘has made known’? Oh, I think not. If we really knew what the Lord made known we wouldn’t be feeling so safe in worship. We wouldn’t feel so secure when we enter into his presence. Oh, we should be writing new songs all the time. The songs should be flowing out of us like rivers and streams as the Spirit who wells up within us does (John 4). Let rip.
“On the whole, I do not find Christians, outside of the catacombs, sufficiently sensible of conditions. Does anyone have the foggiest idea what sort of power we so blithely invoke? Or, as I suspect, does no one believe a word of it? The churches are children playing on the floor with their chemistry sets, mixing up a batch of TNT to kill a Sunday morning. It is madness to wear ladies’ straw hats and velvet hats to church; we should all be wearing crash helmets. Ushers should issue life preservers and signal flares; they should lash us to our pews. For the sleeping god may wake someday and take offense, or the waking god may draw us out to where we can never return.” -Annie Dillard in Teaching a Stone to Talk
May 17, 2009, Psalm 98, Our Sedentary Worship
(I may add to these as things come up in other reading this week. Be blessed.)