(This blog is a continuation of my “Thoughts After Getting A Speeding Ticket…” blog I posted Monday.) As I've spent some time contemplating the question I posed in my last blog:
“What is musical worship that is found in a church?”
I keep finding myself going back to the Christianese jargon that I have become so fluent in. I know that if I found myself trying to explain to the cop that pulled me over I would be stumbling around grasping for the right words and trying to make sense at the same time.
So, I’m putting myself on the spot right now. Here is what I would say:
“I am a worship leader. This is a Christian term that has to do with singing with other Christians. Let me try to explain it to you.
Do you watch sports? Are you married? Do you have children?
With each of these scenarios there are moments when you think your heart might burst from joy. For instance:
Your favorite football team goes to the Super Bowl, throws a hail mary in the last few seconds of the game, catches the wildly thrown ball and carries it into the end zone. Cheering, shouting, hi fives, “Did you see that’s?”
The moment you found yourself on one knee, digging into your pocket for the diamond declaration of your love for your then girlfriend. You stutter and stammer with the rhythm of your pounding heart and then she says, “Yes!” Smiling, embracing, joyful crying.
Your child is sleeping in your arms, only minutes old. There is a tiny fluttering of her eyelids, a squeaky yawn, and she wraps her slow moving fingers around your thumb. Love, heart-bursting, indescribable love.
Our natural response in each of these instances is something that is put into song over and over again. Joy, Love, Hope, Awe, Wonder. These are each just a few of the things that are sung in churches around the world in response to a God that came to die so that we can live with hope, as someone who has been rescued. This life living response is called worship and the songs that we write and sing are called worship songs. I have the unbelievable job of getting to lead/direct/encourage/exhort people who are gathered to do just that.”
So that is my imagined, describing church musical worship, scenario. I do hope that there will be a future account where I will be able to express these thoughts to someone who is stumbling around the Christian language of worship. There will be much blushing, hand gesturing and saying “ummm,” but I now have the thoughts sorted in my head so that I can hopefully paint a clear picture. Let’s just hope it will not be to a police officer pulling me over for another speeding ticket…
(I have written a blog of similar thoughts that you can go check out called "Olympians and Musicians....")