It surprised me to learn Christians didn’t always sit for corporate worship. Around the world, some still do not. Imagine going to church this Sunday and standing for the entire time. What do you think you’d notice? How quickly would you get accustomed to it? If there were no pews, where would you sit when you got tired of listening to the sermon?
My guess is we’d find ourselves more involved. We’d appreciate more the participatory aspect of our shared worship. You’d see you have just as much to contribute to your church’s worship as the preacher and choir.
Sometimes, as Christians, we argue about which is more important, the head or the heart in worship?
That is, some people will say you can’t trust your feelings. So, don’t pay attention to what your heart says. Scripture even warns us that the heart is “deceitful above all things” (Jeremiah 17:9). Then again, the Bible’s wisdom tells us to “trust in the Lord with all your heart” (Proverbs 3:5). To avoid the confusion, some say to focus more on your head knowledge of God.
There’s nothing wrong with that, of course. There’s a genre of scripture dedicated to wisdom. So, thinking and acquiring wisdom is important. Just make sure you have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16). Otherwise, you could be setting your “mind on the flesh” (Romans 8:6).
What we realize is the argument that you must choose either/or is silly. God’s peace guards both our minds and hearts (Philippians 4:7). So, why should we separate them in worship or any other area of our life?
Read Psalm 141 to see how David doesn’t. In fact, his whole body and soul are into his worship. It begins with his prayer and the voice he uses to cry out. Like a watchful guard, he needs God to protect his righteous speech. He lifts his hands in praise and turns his eyes to God. Otherwise, his heart may turn to evil and his hands and body will only busy himself with wicked deeds (Psalm 141:4). David knows there is a trap others want him to fall prey to. With God’s help, he’ll have the wisdom to keep from it. It’s all there: body, mind and soul.
The next time you worship, bring your heart, your mind and your whole self with you. You don’t need to ignore any of it. You’re fully in worship when you don’t.