Monday, June 16, 2008

A Vision for Worship

In a recent post about John Fawcett, I linked to Pastoral Care Ministries, because John often led worship for their conferences. Father Rooster and I were privileged to serve as healing ministers at many of these conferences, years ago, so I read with interest last September's newsletter posted on the website.

In this excerpt, author and founder Leanne Payne reports on God's workings at the June '07 conference (where John found unbelievable strength to lead the worship for the last time; we heard it was a taste of heaven!).

Her thoughts have stayed with me as a vision for true worship anywhere, but especially as we are laying the foundation of a new church:

One of the things that God always does in our [conferences] is restore to the needy and the penitent the knowledge of the Holy, and with that, all that is transcendent and that completes us. ...Beauty, transcendence in the midst of the dread darkness in our culture, is what Christians hunger for, and yearn to reclaim.

Created in the image of God, we arrive in this world with an inborn hunger for the transcendent, even for heaven. Something in us is born knowing. In such a time as this, when the Western world finds itself in the horrors of a spiritual and moral freefall, many come out of this culture to our conferences trapped in the ugliest of sinful compulsions, having forgotten this inborn holy craving. And it is in the presence of the Holy One, the very coming into sacred space filled with true worship, that these dread bonds begin to break and fall away from them. The true self that yearns for the good, the beautiful, the true, and the noble then begins its heroic journey up and out of the false self, with its layers and layers of sordid behavior, and breaks through into God's light with His pathway in sight.

Jubilation, singing to God a new song in worship, plays a large part in these miracles. ...The letters flooding in exult in joy over the music that led the way into what was for many their first taste of the transcendent, the holy, all the glory that a worshiping people bring down upon themselves.


stephseef said...

That's a lovely picture of corporate worship! I would only take issue with the last line.. 'the glory that a worshiping people bring down upon themselves'... a worshiping people can only receive what the Lord himself gives, not what they muster up. I think it's a little dangerous to think that community can 'make' something happen.... BUT, that being said, there is indeed something extraordinarily, biblically RIGHT about corporate, expectant worship.. and God surely loves it!

Lots of us keep checking Margie's site to see how she and the kids are doing, and more about how we might pray. Do you happen to have an update?


At A Hen's Pace said...


I appreciate the distinction you're making, and I know Leanne would agree with you--she's totally against striving or mustering up anything!

I keep checking Margie's blog and wondering too. I will try to get an update and permission to share.