Just some thoughts on an oft discussed topic in the community of church-goers:
Church-goers have, for some years, been very vocal about worship styles, worship teams, worship leaders and most of all, about the music referred to as “praise and worship” music. Setting aside some of those very strong opinions, feelings, and arguments, let us consider the "argument" I just recently heard again: “Today’s praise and worship" music speaks TO God while most of the old hymns simply speak ABOUT God.” Obviously, to the speaker, it is far more important to sing TO God rather than sing ABOUT God.
From a personal perspective, YOUR Godly and God directed praise/worship does not edify others. Your worship, though done in the public arena, is still yours – between you and the God you worship. Others may watch and admire and perhaps be inspired. If they are not comfortable in their own relationship with God, they are unlikely to enter fully into worship, if at all.
On the other hand, I submit that all who hear are edified by the great testimonies and hymn stories about God – stories (lyrics) that point to and express experiences of His goodness, mercy, and grace. Stories of redeeming and keeping power. Stories that reveal His character, His covenant promises, stores that lift, bless, and draw others. Stories to encourage and edify. Testimonies, such as contained in many of the “old” hymns and songs do bring honor and glory to the Divine; to Father, Son and Holy Spirit. And they are very much a part of worship.
Maybe we should just all get over ourselves and learn to appreciate what “praise” and “worship” are about. I’m very grateful that I learned to praise in song because from that came worship. Quiet, humble, worship. Worship that listens, hears, and lives.
If you have read this far, thank you for reading the thoughts and opinion of a rather old saint. Blessings on your day!
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