Friday, January 1, 2016

Recovery of the reverence and solemnity in our Christian worship: My personal reflections


Recently, I received several letters from our dear young sisters, who told me about their struggles in their spiritual life in the midst of the modern, materialistic church settings. Their struggles are real, for although their soul longs to abide in heaven, their environment is too shallow and fleshly. Where can they go to obtain solid spiritual milk? Where can they learn the true sense of reverence and awe in Christian worship?

Here is an excerpt of my letter to one of our sisters;

"Now let me share with you something which I perceived; I think, a part of your struggles and my struggles are derived from superficial Christian cultures around us today. You have been bombarded with lots of shallow, pop-culture-like messages, phrases, images, music which often excite our stimulation and emotions but does not give us lasting impacts or repose upon our soul.
 
 
 
A church that can't worship must be entertained;
and people who can't lead a church to worship must provide entertainment.
 -A.W. Tozer

Where can we sense His holy presence?
O Lord, save us from these confusions and chaos.

Because of this phenomenon, which often makes us unstable in our Christian life, I've made a resolution to start seeking the bare basics. I am striving to gaze upon the core part. I threw out the superficial stuffs, messages, images, books, music into the garbage and started on the journey to find the naked, authentic truth which is revealed in the Gospel. As a result, I became like an oddity among friends, family and relatives but I believe firmly that this is the way which He wants me to proceed. I believe that He wants you and me to go deeper and to seek the solid path. So, my dear sister, shall we go together, hand in hand?"

The Lord is in His holy temple;
Let all the earth keep silence before Him,
Amen.
 
Living in the Greek orthodox country as an evangelical Christian, I often find some differences and similarities between these two streams. Though I don't think it is biblical to pray to Mary/saints or to prostrate in front of icons, I observe that they retain solemnity and reverence in their worship more than our modern evangelical churches. Now, I am going to introduce you two hymn videos. One is sung by four Russian monks and the other is Psalmody sung by Serbian sisters. I want you to focus on the spirit and attitude of these worshippers. I think we can learn something from their reverent heart attitude toward God. What do you think? Please feel free to share with me.

 
 
 

 
Psalm 136 Praise the LORD in Serb
 
 
pictures from here