The “I” in Worship
Most often when we talk about worship it is as the body of believers who join together to praise God, confess our sins, listen to God’s Word and leave renewed to walk back into the world changed. Right?
But what happens when we don’t leave worship feeling renewed? What happens when politics, terrorist attacks, and the way we treat each other are like weights holding us down. Or when we watch a loved one suffering due to illness, pain, or loss and we are continuously pulled back unable to break away from the struggle they are enduring. Maybe it is when our own loneness, fear, and anxieties keep us from feeling connected. That is when worship doesn’t bring the bond and connection that we all hope to find.
It is on those days when the “I” in worship is ignored. When the challenges we are going through are too heavy to carry, the hurt is too deep and the pain is so great. Coming to worship feels like a chore or that the church is filled with only happy people. And our own suffering doesn’t matter.
But that is wrong. Instead we gather together from every place and time with as many different life challenges and joys as there are people sitting in the pews. And that is why the “I” in worship is so important.
The “I” in worship is found in the statement, “I believe.” We don’t point it out very often because we are in community and most often we say “we” but it is why we show up. We come because we believe, or that you believe and I believe. We proclaim it in song, we pray it, confess it, and trust in it.
When our new members join, they say, “I believe in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.” When someone is baptized they or their parents proclaim the same statement. It is one of my favorite parts of the service. The announcement that is easy to believe and yet difficult to understand sometimes. Jesus is our Lord and Savior. Jesus loves us. Jesus saves us. The Holy Spirit is with us. And yet in dark struggling moments we wonder.
And that too is why we show up to worship. We come because sometimes, we are not sure where God is in this moment when we say, “my child is sick,” “my spouse died,” “my marriage is falling apart,” “I lost my job,” “I feel depressed,” or “I just don’t understand anymore.”
We come during these times because we have all been in the doubting, questioning, and wondering place. We come to walk with each other. Broken and beloved people going through our days trusting that we doubt that God is really there, someone else will come along side us and walk with us through it. Someone will pray for you. Someone will care for you. Someone will love you. And someone will be there until you can say again, “I believe.”