Music and Worship

My wife and I are probably two of the only people in America who aren’t tuned in to the Super Bowl. Well, check that. I’m following online, but not watching it.

In any case, I am now “free” to do other things like pack boxes and tinker with web sites. I’ve also been reading Peterson’s book Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places. I’m about half-way through it, but I read the first half 5 months ago, so I’m not clicking on the big picture of the book right now. Nevertheless, Peterson is a poet, creative writer, and theologian, and that is a really, really nice combination.

His latest musing concerns singing and worship. Here’s the run-down of pages 176-177:

“Song does not explain, it expresses; it gives witness to the trans-literal.”

“Music . . . is integral to the way the words are being used as openings to the transcendent, as windows to the mystery, as joining in the dance of the Trinity.”

“Any approach to salvation that does not eventually become worship, and the sooner the better, distorts and reduces salvation to a concept or a program or a technique that we can master and therefore control.”

Though I think music is used sloppily at best in many Evangelical churches (and I say this as a worship leader myself), there is something to singing songs of worship. If God is doing more than filling our heads with new information, and I really hope you believe that, then it is only fitting that we have a way to respond on a level beyond intellect.

While sipping a nice glass of wine I’ve been listening to Delirious?, the King of Fools album. It’s one of their best, and I have to admit just listening and singing along at times has been spiritually refreshing. Something happened when that music was on. At the very least there has been a softening in my spirit for the Lord, if not an interaction on some level.

That seems to be Peterson’s point. God’s salvation or new life requires a spectrum of responses and we are dependent on the arts, music in this case, to help us respond and interact.

The Super Bowl score by the way is:
Bears: 14
Colts: 6

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