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How to Worship God Without a Song

Our Church meets around the dinner table for our time of weekly worship. One of the challenges for us as we meet around the Table of Grace for Dinner Church, is learning how to worship in new methods and styles. We are all well accustomed and trained to worship in a model where music, prayers, and teaching are offered from the front of a sanctuary while we are seated in rows and facing the backs of our friends. Now we are learning to worship seated around a table, facing one another, and being invited to engage the worship in a more conversational and participatory style.

The biggest change is to find ways to worship God that don’t include music. For most of us, even the word “worship” means “music” or “singing.” While worship often does include music, music is just one of many ways that we can worship God. Meeting as a Dinner Church has challenged us to consider how we can engage in worship in different ways. We continue to think and pray about the words of the song, “When the Music Fades.” The lyrics go, “When the music fades, and all is stripped away…I’ll bring you more than a song, for a song in itself is not what you require.” What God requires is a heart that loves, honors, and serves Him.

We have been experimenting with different ways to bring our worship of Jesus to the Table of Grace. Here’s another one to help us focus on where and how you saw, heard, or experienced God in your life. It comes directly from Psalm 19. “The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether.” (Psalm 19:7–9, ESV)

We know God’s written Word in the form of the Scriptures. In this Psalm, the first line of each statement offers another word used to define these "scriptures." In these verses, God's word is referred to as: the law of the Lord, the testimony of the Lord, the precepts of the Lord, the commandment of the Lord, and the rules of the Lord. Then, the second line of each statement gives a blessing that comes with engaging the Word of God: it revives the soul, it makes us wise, it brings joy to the heart, it gives understanding and enlightenment, and, it shows us what is right, true and just.

When we come to worship we are saying, “I’ll bring you more than a song…” How about coming with a story from your week about how God’s Word brought you a revived spirit, wisdom, joy, understanding, enlightenment, clarity about with is right, true and just. Of course, this assumes that we are each taking time throughout the week to be reading God’s Word. Paul wrote to the Corinthian church about how to share these things in an orderly manner: “When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up.” (1 Corinthians 14:26, ESV) The beautiful thing about it is this: as we bring what God is teaching us to the table of grace, others will be encouraged, comforted, admonished, taught, and blessed.

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