On Sunday evening I had the privilege of going to visit a church in another city in an official capacity to hear a young man preach. All went well, and I've been able to write what I hope is a positive affirming and encouraging repport.
This post, which is deliberately mischievous, arises from the fact that during the service we stood for three extended periods of 'sung worship' that were musically unsatisfying, some of them theologically or linguistically iffy (in my view). I can't stand still for 20 minutes any more, I even have to shift my feet around when I'm preaching, so blocks of 20, 15 and 15 minutes (the service was just under 2 hours long) was too much, and I sat the last one out.
Depending on the repetoire of songs in your own church you will know which one I am plagiarsing/emulating. Hopefully you won't take offence, and just maybe you will have a chuckle...
Standing in a darkened church
Singing endless worship songs
Where the tunes all sound the same
Lots of bad theology
Lots of battle metaphors
Lots of words I’d love to change
Guitarist has a three chord trick
Drummer’s in a perspex shed
Singer shuts their eyes…
More than once, we must sing it all again
Then the break, where we find the tune is changed
Now my hips are getting sore
So I’ll have to take a seat
Just like many others do
Yearning for a Taize chant,
Iona, Wesley, Kaan or Wren…
Different meters, different moods
Or world music
Organists who change the stops
Choirs in four part harmony
Praising God, in diverse ways
Saying sorry, saying please
Hymns that tell a story…
Only once, we can then sing something else
That has links with the theme of the service
It’s quite easy!
It’s quite easy!
Sitting, standing, singing, quiet,
Crying, laughing, thinking, still,
Listening, praying, speaking too
All are worship
God the Father,
God the Son,
God the Holy Spirit…
Every week you must put up with our songs!
Every week you receive our clumsy prayers
Every time you accept our muddled worship
You are faithful
And we're grateful…