Passion in Worship

February 10, 2009

Our youth group needs help. Our kids are unruly. They are loud during worship service. They run away from bible study after lunch. They don’t close their eyes during prayer and sneak out to the rest room during praise songs. What is the reason for all this? It is because they have not encountered God. They have not come face to face with the Truth of the Gospel. The Good News is should be shocking. It is anything but boring. If our kids understand it, if it is presented to them as it is, they will be anything but indifferent to it. Some of them may reject it, but if they have understood it, they will reject it passionately. The least passionate response will be that of astonishment. Even the agnostics were astonished by Jesus’ teachings – “No one taught as he did.” They will have to eventually come to totally hate it or be totally broken by it.

We are not presenting the Gospel to them. That is the biggest reason they are bored. They don’t realize that they must either fall on their knees or flee for their lives. I was reading Luke 12 today, and came across this passage: “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Jesus first tells us that we should fear God, because He is powerful. Then he turns everything around and says we should not be afraid, because He knows everything. When we encounter this omnipotent, omniscient God, when we are confronted with the person of Christ, we are simply left with two alternatives: to fear Him as an enemy, or to fear Him as our God – to run away from Him or to kneel down before Him.

Peter Kreeft, in his talk entitled Shocking Beauty, talks about how boredom is a major problem we see in our society today. The opposite of boring is beauty. The Gospel is the most beautiful message in the world, but we Christians have somehow made it the most boring one. This is the problem with our kids. This is the problem with despondent Christians. They have not met Christ. Perhaps they have met Him in the past and have forgotten. Or perhaps some of them have never encountered Him.

And that is our role. We must teach them. We must suffer to make full the suffering of Christ in our body. There can be no greater glory than this, to partake in His suffering. We must live the Word. We are all evangelists. We are all artists.

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