Thursday, March 22, 2012

Struggling to worship (musically)

Today I have been listening to the new Passion - White Flag album. I often find, like many Christians, that worship music that is well done really gives a lift to my soul. But I often struggle fully engaging with it, thinking that it is the well done harmonies, drum beats, and overall sound that is lifting me, not the words or the connection to God.

This internal analysis is heightened at a "worship concert/event" where there are flashy lights, attractive visuals behind displayed lyrics, and stylish leaders. Then you begin looking around at others engaging in worship, and you ponder, "what is the focus of their worship?" Is it God, or is it the show?

I also find myself really analyzing the lyrics of the songs being sung. Often the words are really solid, but the melody is weak, making it hard to engage. Then there are the songs that sound great, but the lyrics are weak. Or they describe God more as a boyfriend than as a glorious Saviour.

So this is the struggle I face. I am tempted to turn off my critical view of the whole thing, and just engage. But I want to worship God in Spirit AND in truth. It is a struggle for me.

However, when we are lucky enough to be blessed by a song that has solid lyrics as well as well done musically, that is when it is just so great to worship with all our heart! One of the greatest examples of this for me personally is "In Christ Alone". You are basically singing the story of the gospel, with great passion and excitement as the song builds and reaches conclusion. The music and lyrics combine to tell the great story!

Do others struggle with this same tension when in musical worship settings? What are some things you have found helpful?