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Deeper Roots + Wider Branches

Pursuing Sanctification, Community & Mission

Category Archives: Worship

Thanks to The Resurgence Blog, I discovered the work of Isaac Wardell & Bifrost Arts, and what they have to say strikes me as very insightful. Wardell points out that “the church today generally takes its cues from the concert hall or the lecture hall” gravitating either toward a performance-driven mindset or an anti-emotional over-emphasis on “education and cognitive understanding” in an effort to become a “counter-cultural outpost”. He points out the need to rediscover the use of scriptures, the Psalms in particular as our framework for worship rather than “taking our cues from the larger media culture.” He also points out the strange phenomena that we listen to more music than ever before, yet we sing together much less then Christians did in the past. Perhaps we need to rediscover the simplicity of gathering together occasionally just to sing…no powerpoint, no microphones, no stage…just a few instruments (or none), a few brothers and sisters, and the beauty of voices raised to our creator and redeemer. I for one am longing to discover the hymns of our generation, and rediscover the hymns of generations past.

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/14429217″>Bifrost Arts</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/joshfraner”>josh franer</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Here’s the interview with Isaac Wardell at The Resurgence: http://theresurgence.com/2011/02/25/is-a-worship-service-more-like-a-concert-hall-or-a-banquet-hall

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For more a more conceptual/theological approach to what I was trying to express in my last post/prayer, check out Pastor Mark Driscoll’s Worship & Idolatry series on the Resurgence blog.

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Jesus,

I need you more than anything else in the world. I need you more than a good night’s sleep. I need you more than the things I think I need to wake up: a hot shower, a good cup of coffee, food in my belly. I need you more than I need to be informed, creative, or successful. I need you more that I need to know the daily news. I need you more than I need the right music to make me feel ready to take on the day. I need you more than I need affirmation from my friends, coworkers and supervisors.I need you more than I need success in my vocation or praise for my art. I need you more than I need to have a career that “makes a difference.” I need you more than I need financial freedom: a paycheck, a savings account, less debt, and more spending money. I need you more than I need excitement, adventure, and the risks that make me feel brave. I need you more than exercise and being “in shape.” I need you more than I need a relationship, a girlfriend, a fiance, or a wife.I need you more than I need sex. I need you more than I need community. I need you more than I need plans tonight that will make me feel like I belong.I need you more than I need to feel needed by others. I need you more than I need to feel organized, focused, self-confident. I need you more than happiness. I need you more than I need to know about you.

I spend my days chasing after all these things I think I need when what I really need is you. Many of these things are good things that you want me to be engaged in. Yet if I gain them, but do not have you, I have nothing. “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?” (Matthew 16:26) Forgive me for all the things I pursue (even “spiritual” things) that are not truly a pursuit of you. Forgive me for desiring experiences and feelings and compliments and security and adventure and flexibility more than I desire you.

Lord, give me a desire for you that is stronger than my desire for food and coffee and sleep and sex and fun and art and success and all the other things that I think I need to survive and be happy. Be like oxygen to me. Redeem all of these other good things as I am sustained first and foremost by you. Transform my idols into works of art where your glory can be displayed. Show me what to surrender and abandon. Show me what to pursue. Change the way I view everything. Teach me to look to you as my greatest need and to live in normal everyday life more passionately than I ever thought possible because I am finding my strength, security and guidance in you.

In Jesus Name, Amen.