And the rocks cried out...
As a worship leader, it's always interesting to have varying perspectives after a worship set. This morning I felt that the band did an amazing job preparing the way for the Body of Christ to worship God. Yet, as I looked out over the congregation of 400+, I was dismayed on some level.
Dismay, disappointment, etc. is a funny thing- it is entirely based upon perspective. Our perspectives are shaped by multiple streams of experience and are interpreted in all kinds of different ways. I could go off on a tangent about perspective- I'll save it for another post...
When I walked off of the stage, I felt, no- I perceived, that there had been pockets of people who were actively engaged in an outward expression of worship, but the majority sat with arms crossed or stood with blank expression.
An outward expression is a physical manifestation of our awe before God. That is, raised hands, dancing, singing out loud, shouts, etc. All of those are documented, scriptural outward physical expressions of worship.
Now, before anyone jumps on the "people worship in different ways" bandwagon; outward expression in worship isn't just something that those weird Pentecostals do.
It is a mandate from scripture. It is a command- Psalm 134:2 says, "Lift up your hands to the holy place and bless the Lord!" Notice that the scripture does not say,"Lift up your hands, if you would like to, if you feel like it, if you're not too embarrassed, to the holy place and bless The Lord!"
The level of our pursuit of God decides the atmosphere of worship.