Together, Mark Carter (our intern) and I have been reading through Eugene Peterson's memoir: The Pastor. You may recall Peterson as the translator of the beloved version of the Bible, The Message.
Today I read the following and thought I'd pass it along as we consider again worship.
In his typical prophetic tone he writes:
By the time I arrived on the scene as a pastor, the American church had reinterpreted the worship of God as an activity for religious consumers. Entertainment, manipulation and cheer-leading were conspicuous in high places. American worship was conceived as a public relations campaign for Jesus and his angels. Worship had been cheapened into a commodity marketed by using tried and true advertising techniques. If so called worshippers didn't "get anything out of it," there had been no worship worth coming back for. Instead of calling people to worship God, pastors all over the country were inviting people to have a "worship experience". Worship was evaluated on the satisfaction scale of one to ten.
It struck me as a violation of the holy, a secularization of the sacred. Taking the Lord's name in vain. I determined to reintroduce the idea: let us worship God. I knew this wasn't going to be easy. The entertainment model for worship in America was pervasive.
He was reflecting here on something that was happening 30+ years ago. If that was true then, how much more now. Today "worship" is literally a billion dollar industry. As we enter this year of worship, let's not be confused. We must have minds to discern what is and isn't worship. Don't be confused by an experience, rather, set you hearts on things above and let this be enough.
How we feel is never the point. The point is God.