Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Worship: It's not merely about the pastor's preferences

From Pastor Weedon's blog...

A Conversation Today reminded me of a conversation held many years ago with another friend. He was opining that pastors really just gravitate to the sorts of services that they themselves prefer. They shape their congregations that way, he thought. I told him that I disagreed, and he was surprised. He assumed that the way we worship at St. Paul's was the way *I* preferred to worship. Actually, it is not. If I had my druthers, we'd swing incense every week and all the music would be like Rachmaninov's heavenly stuff and believe it or not - no organ.

But as I told him, I'd choose over my preferences to worship instead according to any of the orders in our hymnal with their sweet incense of the Gospel shining through in the words of our liturgy. It's a better choice to me to go with music I don't find nearly as appealing as Rachmaninov's All Night Vigil but which delivers the Gospel solidly to me than to ask Mary to save me, however sweetly it is sung.

You see, I follow the Liturgy of LSB not because it is my preference; it's not. I follow it because I know now matter how badly I may screw up in the sermon, the liturgy will still clearly deliver to the congregation the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ. "For You alone are holy, You only are the Lord, Forever and forever be worshipped and adored!"

I can't trust my own preferences; I've found from experience I can trust the liturgies and hymns in our Hymnal to deliver the Gospel itself, the one thing needful.


Robin Dugall said...

there's a part of me that LOVES this and a part of me that doesn't...not that I disagree but I also know that if my heart is longing for a variety of worship experiences for spiritual formation then other's hearts are longing for the same...I am really glad you posted this Reverend! Now, I have to subscribe to your blog too! Just add another log to the fire!

love in Jesus,

Kurt Onken said...

Thanks for checking out the blog. Shouldn't you say, "Add another blog to the fire"?

I guess I would just add that there are a lot of things my heart longs for, but they might not be all that beneficial. Sort of like how my stomach longs for big fat juicy bacon cheeseburgers.