Relationship in Worship

As a result of focussing in yesterdays Church worship about the nature of discipleship and recognising how special we are to God, I’ve found myself sitting in an empty Church today reflecting on what worship is all about. Why do we bother when often it seems to be routine and “we’ve always done it this way.”

It strikes me that so often worship boils down to peoples preference over hymns, Graham Kendrick vs Isaac Watts, whether we are solemn or loud, arms length and never speaking or all hugging and touchy~feely !  And yet there must be more to worship than this.

`Worth-ship` is about giving God what he is worth; its about what he enjoys or wants and yet so often we personalise it back to what we want. I don’t think that this is necessarily about selfishness but it’s probably because its much easier to know what we want and its hard to know what God wants in worship.

I came across this definition from a friend……………………………     “The nature of worship is simply a recognition and encounter with God. The Hebrew seems to have a root derivation of, “To kiss.” If worshipping is as intimate as kissing, then arms length formal worship may actually at times not be worship at all. I think we have to turn to the language of Song of Songs. Very intimate and powerful imagery. So dare I say that worship is being in love with God. Expressing our love and receiving it from our God.”

If worship is about being in love with God then surely there will be different expressions of worship as each one of us is a different character who expresses him/herself in different ways. We will all have different ways of expressing our love to God.

I like the idea of worship as being an intimate act between myself and God, even if its conducted in a public arena and with countless numbers of people. As always it boils back down to relationship. How much of a relationship do you want with God as opposed to one with Church, with the hymns, the routine, the activities ?

Tonight I offered Alison the chance to walk over to where I was sitting on the grounds that exercise was good for her health; when she got to me I said, in a loving romantic way, “give us a snog !” it may come as a massive relief to all my readers that its not a request I would make of any other person, but I can with Alison because she knows I love her and because over 38 years of marriage we’ve built a wonderful, loving relationship. Now, I’m not going to be so irreverent as to suggest that we should ask God for a “snog” but surely we should desire such a relationship where we can come before him with total honesty knowing he accepts us and welcomes us. That is relationship and I, for one, want to grow more in my relationship with Alison and in my relationship with God.

Things always come in threes !

Things always come in threes, so they say, Ive always dismissed it as utter and complete tosh, but lately Ive begun to wonder; just before Christmas our washing machine broke and thanks to the generosity of church members our washing was carried out faithfully, and although we have got a new washing machinate firm won’t fit it as they think its too tight a squeeze even though its about an inch thinner than the one being removed. Consequently we’ve a carpenter coming to look at it in the morning with a view to altering the bench.

Then last weekend the drainage in the front yard began to smell and water was backing up. We had to call a firm to come and clear the blockage, on the day I was travelling up to the North-east so I was able to leave the mysterious message on Facebook that I was “leaving Alison to sort out the sewage”

Today incident number 3 has happened, as our dish washer has decided to leak all over the kitchen floor which looks like a war zone ! If the superstition is true then we’ll be left alone for a while, but we’ll see. As it is this has been a costly winter so far, in terms of finance (new washing machine) and certainly in terms of time.

In the midst of it all the Chair of District and I had a chat yesterday I which we felt that because of the workload (2 Circuits, supervision of a Probationer Minister, running up to

the NorthEast and other District duties) then for the sake of my health I should step aside as Deputy Chair with a review next January. This has saddened me no end for I will miss the District team with whom I worked, I’ll miss the conversation at District Executive, and the fellowship of those I met around me. It has been a tremendous privilege serving the District and working alongside Loraine, our Chair, who. has constantly shown good pastoral care for Alison and I, and also to learn from the skills of the rest of the office based team.

I have received a huge volume of emails and texts from around the District expressing thanks and appreciation.

Little wonder that our lives feel a bit like the jigsaw in the photograph at the moment !

Totally black and with no light to help reveal the design of the jigsaw, it must be a nightmare to cope with.

I’ll still have a District role in so much as I’ll continue to share the District EDI (Equality, Diversity and Inclusion) team; again another talented group of individuals who all bring their skills to bear, and once again I’ll learn so much from them.

However, tonight I still feel bereaved, but it’ll pass.

As I recognise that what I’ll miss most are the people it has made me realise more fully than before that for me, I find the light in a dark world in meeting and sharing with other people; that interaction is what stirs me, uplifts me and inspires me; other people show me the way by their tolerance of me, their support and their generous friendship.

When the world looks really bleak and black, it is easy to hide away but if its possible the best thing to do is try to be amongst people. Sadly the nature of depression (which

thankfully I dont have) is that its too wearying, tiring, mentally exhausting to seek out company or to get ‘out and about’, so perhaps its down to us to be the light in their darkness by simply coming alongside them and being the light in their darkness.

Just a few rambling thoughts; thanks for reading