Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Abandoned praise

For this week's Java worship, I'm working on a theme of abandoned praise. It follows from the reading that I gave in last week's Java worship about Aaron and all the people giving all that they had for the temple, and particularly the line about Aaron giving back his all to the One that had given it to him in the first place.

A fellow worship leader posted on her website a little while back about something that I have been observing in a particular person in our own congregation for a while now - abandoned praise:
I just experienced one of the most authentic worship times in my life! I
walked across the auditorium to listen to the sound levels and stopped far to
one side for a while.

As I stood and began to worship, I noticed a 'mentally challenged young
man' worshiping. It was one of the most moving times of worship I have ever

He had a freedom to express himself that I have never felt. He could have
cared less who was watching, I often wonder who is watching me. He was filled
with the Holy Spirit at a level that most 'normal' people never reach. Complete
surrender, unaware that he may be the only one with a true understanding of our

I will look for this young man in the future and try to stand near to him
during worship so I can also leave cares behind and become overcome with love
for our God and express it freely!


Often I have felt that our worship times are perhaps a little stilted when I watch the bush shrike "bokmakierie" throw back it's head with its throat completely exposed - vulnerable - and sing as though its life depended on it. My prayer is that our worship this week would head towards a life abandoned to God. Not caring for or about the praise or criticism of others but only reaching upwards to love the One who gave everything for us. Pressed down, shaken together and running out all over...

If you have any suggested songs or readings, please leave a comment. If you've had a similar experience to Lori and myself, please comment...I would love to hear from you.


Olson Family said...

Hi - read your comments on Mandy T's blog and have to say "Thank You but no, I should never be Knighted - I may go into laundry rebellion any moment." :)

Love this post and the ?'s it poses. We are studying King David in our Women's Bible Study and this week had hit the part where Michal reprimanded David after he brought the Ark of the Covenant into the City - dancing half naked with abandon - she said he was an embarassment. But - he declared he was dancing for God, not man and so the story goes.

This idea of being able to worship with abandon has been pulling at me lately - are we inhibited by the culture we are raised in? our personalities? our environment? when do we shout out unto the Lord? if it's a distraction to others, should we restrain ourselves?

Great topic. Thank You. Susan

Louise Knight said...

Hi Susan

Thanks for popping in.

Amazingly, the story about David and Michal had been on my mind a lot about the same thing. I think I'll be blogging some more about this.

I guess I was thinking a lot about the freedom to DO more physically in terms of worship - raise hands, dance, paint, whatever...but I have recently been challenged on whether I allow freedom for folks who are less expressive in that way to worship just as they are...or do I think they don't give enough?