Psalms 94-96, Romans 15:14—33 • Key Verses: Psalm 95:1, 6
Do you have a preferred “style” of worship? In some churches only a piano and organ are allowed for accompaniment, and if it isn’t in the hymnal, it isn’t sung. In other churches the drummer sits behind a Plexiglas wall so as to not overpower the band. Whatever the instruments used, some people prefer a quieter, contemplative service while others are attracted to a more lively celebratory style. Which is right? Neither and both.
Neither is right if it is all a person experiences. If every worship time is contemplation, or every worship time is celebration, that is not right. What is modeled in the Bible, which is the right arbitrator of such discussions, is a balance of reverent celebration and reverent contemplation. It may seem that hand clapping and knee bending don’t mix, but they do when we have a biblical balance in our worship.
The words of contemplative worship are found in a popular praise song: “Come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord, our God, our Maker.” It is a quiet, reflective song, with words from Psalm 95.
But the psalm begins with, “Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock, our salvation.” Those are the words of celebration. Sing and shout aloud!
Psalm 95 calls us to both contemplation and celebration. Our life of worship is lived not at the extremes. It is not to be an “either/or” but a “both/and” balance.
Consider your time of worship. Do you at times sing and shout aloud in celebration? Do you at times also bow down and kneel? If you are doing only what you prefer, remember, God wants us to be worshipers who both celebrate and contemplate.
Woodrow Kroll & Tony Beckett