The Myth of a painless offering of worship.
I believe that worship, speaking even of and specifically about our weekend gatherings, is not painless. Of course, I do not mean that it is “painful” but that it is a myth to think we are entitled to worship without cost. Yeah, I used the word “painless” as a way to address our demand in our culture for ease. The goal it seems is to ease our lives when sometimes things we do that cause pain actually advance us. Exercise is a perfect example of this.
As far are our weekend gathering, we would do well to have a different opinion about our experience on the days when things make us uncomfortable and even perhaps in pain. If we are having heartburn about a point in the message, distressed over the volume of the music, dissatisfied with the glum-faced people around us it does not negate a worship experience–it makes that experience a sacrifice. The best example of this is to offer a sacrifice of praise during the most hurtful times in life. Our decision to offer praise and worship regardless of our pain might actually be what allows us to find some healing from that pain.
On this point, read Psalm after Psalm and you will find a process of despair, grief and hope all sandwiched with praise for who God is and for what He has done in the past. The exercise of choosing to worship and praise God reminds me of Paul and Silas in prison. It appears that their singing of worship opened the doors and loosened their shackles–both literally and figuratively.
Your thought, please. Should we decide to praise God even when things go south for us or when we feel hurt?