Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Total Risk

The moment they
saw him they
worshiped him.
Some, though,
held back,
not sure about
“worship”, about risking themselves totally.

Matthew 28:17 (The Message)

There have been worship leaders, who in their eagerness to get their congregation to “worship”, have by their own admission used a bit of trickery. “Do you love Jesus? Raise your right hand? Do you know that Jesus loves you? Raise your left hand! Ah, hah I’ve gotten you to raise your hands, now keep them up there and let’s worship.” Worship is a response of love and devotion to God, but it should be voluntary!

I feel for the disciples that held back when they saw Jesus, not wanting to risk themselves totally. Worship is a dangerous business—you may lose yourself, completely. A loss of control would be at stake and the uncertainty of what might happen is just that, uncertain.

During our years of ministry my husband and I have heard all sorts of reasons why people hold back when it comes to worship. But all of them are based in worry and the need for control—how they will look or what people will think—if they take a risk at worship.

To abandon ourselves to the act of worship could mean that sometimes we might “look” funny. But, there also might be laughter, joy, energy, new friends, even a new appreciation for the community of believers. One never knows what might happen when we take a risk at worship.

Your risk will look different than mine. But the next time you’re in “worship” take time to ask yourself what is holding you back from risking yourself totally in showing your love and devotion to Jesus.

Jesus, I love you
and want to worship you.
But, sometimes I get caught up
not in your Spirit but in
who might be looking.
Help me to take a risk and
learn what it means to worship
You with abandon.
Amen.

1 comment:

russell said...

Nice selection on the scripture passage. This would have been an interesting direction to explore in last Sunday's sermon as well. Who knows, maybe I'll be preaching again next time Lectionary Year A comes around :-P