Archive for May 5th, 2020

Other than not being able to hug our daughters, the greatest loss I have felt during this time of self isolation is corporate worship. I miss the unity, the feeling of being part of something bigger, something shared.

I have to say it has caused a longing to be with the church like nothing and never before. Truly my soul aches to raise my voice, along with other redeemed sinners, to the

God who created me for this purpose … to worship him.

This ache reminds me of the story behind the worship song Heart of Worship. Matt Redman tells of his pastor’s concern for what worship had become … the style, the volume, the worship leader, the songs.

“People were becoming consumers, instead of bringing an offering (to worship).” Matt Redman

The pastor introduced a worship service that was different … no sound system, no instruments, no plan … just come, with your Bible and whatever you can offer to God.

Out of that season in his church Redman wrote the lyrics to the Heart of Worship.

The other day I read a blog post that had me nodding in agreement with my own experiences of attempts to worship, corporately, from home, while attending the worship service online.

Carolyn Arends writes, in her post Virtual Realities :

“There are barriers to singing corporately over the internet. Maybe that tells us something important. … Right alongside the invitation to innovate (in a season of quarantine) is an invitation to ache – to let absence rekindle a holy fondness in our hearts for the things we’ve taken for granted.”

It is an ache … this holy longing to raise our voices together, physically. Perhaps it is an ache that we have needed to feel … a longing for what might have been missing even before self isolation in this time of Covid 19 … a longing for that which, perhaps for far too long, we have taken for granted … the gift of worshipping our God together, in community.

I find myself longing for that first day that we can, once again, raise, not just our voices, but our hearts as well in worship … to share our unity of purpose.

It makes me think of the chorus of the song, When We All Get to Heaven, written well over a hundred years ago, by Eliza Hewitt :

“When we all get to heaven,
what a day of rejoicing that will be!
When we all see Jesus
we’ll sing and shout the victory.”

If I might be so bold as to re-write those words, for that first corporate worship experience that I (and others) are dreaming of :

When we all get back together
what a day of rejoicing that will be!
When we’re reunited with followers of Jesus
we’ll get a glimpse of eternity.”


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