Lex orandi est lex credendi.
“Oh, I’m sorry. What did you just say?”
Worship leads to belief.
And our belief should lead us to worship.
This is a statement that both excites and convicts me in a deep way. The excitement comes with this idea of matching our practices to our beliefs. You know, strengthening that integrity we have. When I was in grade school, my Spanish teacher taught us the definition of integrity through hand motions: Belief in the right hand, Action in the left, clap them together and you have Integrity.
If only it were that easy! Now, my conviction starts to swell when I think about how challenging it can be to match our beliefs to our actions. For example, I believe that recycling is important and helps sustain the earth, but for some reason, if I have a plastic bottle in my hand and don’t have the option of putting it in a recycling bin, I just throw it away in the trash. In that instance, I am being lazy and not fully living with integrity. These specific situations make living with integrity quite a challenge.
OK, so now that I’ve gone through a whole spiel on integrity, you might be asking, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, I get it. Integrity. But how does this connect to worship?”
It connects in a deep way. Once we think about it, what we do has the power to shape what we believe and what we believe has the power to shape what we do. This is very powerful in the life of the church.
Now, let’s avert the attention to a worship service. The band is playing the same set that they always do, and let’s admit, they’re rockin’ the stage. The lights are low, words are on the screen, but the music is so loud that you can’t really hear yourself sing or the person standing next to you. It feels like a concert rather than a worship service. You know the words to all the songs, but its just a lot easier to merely sit and listen. You believe that participating in the worship service is important, but right now there are just too many distractions. Participating at this point is just too much of a challenge. God knows your heart, so why is it such a big deal to sing? Maybe next time.
I’ve been there – especially since I am a worship leader in the church. Distractions in a worship service are what I always seem to pay attention to when I’m sitting in the pew. However, I always have to remind myself that I come to worship both vertically and horizontally. When I attend a worship service, I am choosing to worship God while also choosing to worship with other people, which is such a cool experience. When I participate in worship, I am choosing to act that which I believe.
Do you believe participation is important in a worship service? If so, then…
Sing at the top of your lungs!
Pray a meaningful prayer from your heart!
Eat and drink with thanksgiving at the table!
And be glad!
What is stopping you? Lex orandi est lex credendi. Live with integrity and live up to the challenge!