Friday, February 26, 2010

Cruciform Worship

Psalm 67:1-2

1May God be gracious to us and bless us
       and make his face shine upon us,
 2 that your ways may be known on earth,
       your salvation among all nations.

A leader in the denomination I serve has asked an important question. Why do we make a distinction between "vertical" and "horizontal" words and actions and songs? If the second command is like the first, then why separate them? This is a question of integrity and I think it's a no-brainer, so I'm simply going to draw an obvious conclusion from it:

We need to write and sing songs that deal both with the vertical in Heaven and Earth and the horizontal in the Church and the Nations as though they are all meant to be addressed at once. Our Sacred Head was crucified at the point where these concepts intersect and are reconciled in space and time. A post and a crossbeam formed the image to which our every movement must conform. We need to write and sing songs that make no distinction between loving God and loving people. 

I'm not saying that your favorite hymn is unacceptable for worship because it's not holistic enough. (I'm also not not saying that.) But what I am saying is that if Christ is supreme in all things and in all ways, then we should strive to sing and write songs that see mission as a natural conclusion of worship and the reconciliation of heaven and earth as inevitable and pursuant to our existence.

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