Saturday, January 13, 2007

worship

What must God think when our poems to him have become short and shallow? Our prayers long and pointless? Our worship a rock concert? O Lord where have Bach, Ambrose, Luther, and Bernard of Clairvaux gone? Where have the great poets who praised you with the full beauty of language, and the full glory of belief?
Now we have songs that repeat the same phrase over and over, words which a child could have written! Shallow shouts of praise with no declaration of your worthiness to be praised! Do you O Lord accept the praise of those who do not know why to praise you? Do you accept the praise of a sinner who does not know their sinfulness? Are you O Lord merely a selfish being who just wants our praise? Or are you the loving, almighty, and ever living God which Christians preached for centuries, or are you the get rich scheme that is preached today?
O Lord, may I ever be mindful of my sin and shame that I may always remember why you are worthy of praise. May I surrender over my soul over to you for the purging fire, and not merely spew forth meaningless babble which makes others feel good. I would rather suffer the pangs of Hell and have you as you are, then have the joys of heaven and have a lie.

1 comment:

Valpo Goes To Seminary said...

Ben, those repeated phrases that "a child could have written" (and let's not forget the reminder to have faith like a child) are often straight from the scripture, and even in the ancient meditative tradition. Think "Ubi Caritas et Amour, Deus Ibi Est". Remember that Mozart in his day was contemporary music. It may be difficult for one with such a deep love for the deep, teaching music set to ever-uplifting complex organ music, to find the good and true within simple melody lines set to guitar or rock-sounding praises without dogmatic lyrics, and while I would agree that there are some modern p&w songs that could stand to say more and be more, compare - no, don't compare - consider where God may be speaking even in what may sound shallow. Any seed planted, no matter by what musical means, is still a seed planted. Think of it as a different language in a different culture. Consider what God may be doing in that worship setting despite or even through what may be considered poorly-constructed hymnody. I'm not sure it's as bad as it sounds. Although, prophet, perhaps your approach is equally different from mine as the two types of music seem to be, eh?