Faithfulness and Freedom in Worship

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Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens!

Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness! Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals! Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! Ps. 150

Most gracious Father, as I meditate through this psalm, I own my need for a bigger heart for the purposes of your praise. The gospel must expand my palate, multiply my taste buds, and increase my capacity to enjoy the rich diversity of worship you commend in this passage.

My tendency is to treat King David’s words like a worship-buffet from which I pick and choose the items that fit my personal comfort zone. I can easily ignore or dismiss expressions that don’t fit within my bandwidth of beauty. I’m so domestic and vanilla.

I love harps, lyres, and strings and flutes. But trumpets are too loud; tambourines remind me of bad theology; clashing, and resounding cymbals are great for the symphony, but not for a sanctuary. And there’s no way I’m going to dance.

Father, I confess the sin of me-ism. It’s not that you require all of these elements in every worship service. I long for the Day when I will fully enjoy the rich diversity of your whole family.

I crave the Day when I will find great joy in celebrating your greatness and glory with my brothers and sisters in Jesus from every race, tribe, tongue, and people group. You are worthy of worship from every breath, animal, tree, rock, instrument, sound bite, molecule, and nanoparticle.

Father, your mightiest, praiseworthy deed was sending, offering, and raising Jesus from the dead for us. May the form and freedom of our worship be determined by the riches and reach of the gospel. So very Amen I pray, in Jesus’ magnificent and grace-full name.

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