With the vast majority of the credit going to emergents, new monasticism is very sexy right now. However, this does not seem to be a case of bringing sexy back – monasticism was never meant to be this sexy.
Chapter 8 of St. Benedict’s rule gives direction for the nighttime and daybreak observances of the daily office. The times differ according to season, because of the amount of sunlight received during the different seasons, for the Holy Rule was established before the discovery of electricity.
And just in case you still think monasticism is sexy, chapter 8 directs that during the summer, the monks are to observe Matins at night, then they “may go out for the necessities of nature” before returning to participate in Lauds. For we all know a monk really needs to go first thing every morning.
I just finished listening to a podcast from Mars Hill Michigan where the teacher made connections between worship service and service as worship. I liked it a bunch because I like to see when people put real actions into their words. I guess I think talk is cheap, but when I see Christianity in action, it’s a beautiful thing.
Part of this in me, I figure, comes because the music that I hear on Sunday mornings just doesn’t resonate with the music that plays in my soul. That sounds cheesy, but I figure most everyone has a soundtrack playing inside of them and they hear music and they like it when the music they hear resonates with whatever is already playing inside of them. This little theory of mine has no backing, but I think it’s true anyways. I figure that’s why the oldies in church sing louder when it’s time for a hymn, and that why I find myself lost when I try to sing them. It’s like the beat or the rhythm or the mood of the music just doesn’t match with the music that’s already playing inside of me. And that’s why I work better when the music is louder – my soul soundtrack is loud, aggressive and has a heavy bass line.
One the other hand…maybe I’m wrong. Either way, there’s something about certain types of music that matches with certain types of people – and that’s very clear in corporate worship services all over.
I’ve been reading the Tozer book. He sure has some strong things to say about worship. It’s kind of interesting to see someone saying the things he said, back when he said them. I appreciate his assessment of the leaders of the church and a consideration of their influence in leadership according to their passion in prayer and worship. I hate when church leaders pray and it lacks any passion.
Someone also mentioned to me this week that he sees a lot of children worship happening in our culture. I thought he was right on with that thought. A lot of people with kids are worshipping (ordering their lives to ascribe supreme worth) to their children. I wonder how Tozer would speak into this phenomenon. I’d love to see his reaction to hearing that a church is family-centered instead of Christ-centered!!
The third chapter of Stetzer’s book is the token chapter on biblical basis. These chapters in every textbook drive me crazy. It’s like every person has a biblical basis for their own slant on whatever. It’s like treating the Bible like a horoscope.
That being said, this chapter isn’t horrible, but it’s not the kind of subject matter you wake your wife up to discuss. Here’s some quotes of interest:
p.38 “Until the late eighteenth century, most Protestant Christians believed that Jesus’ commisions applied only to those disciples who actually heard his words.”
4. October 16, 2007
Worship this weekend was alright. The sermon was excellent for me, the singing kind of regular – it didn’t really go anywhere for me. I didn’t really go anywhere either. I know that’s not supposed to be the point of worship, it’s supposed to be like is God honored and stuff like that, but that seems to be an ‘of course’ answer. I mean, wouldn’t a better question be – how was God insulted? That would be a way more interesting discussion, that’s for sure.
We had our first night of the year with singing worship at the high school worship gathering. I was also a night with HS volleyball, water polo and JV football. Needless to say, our attendance was down significantly and overwhelmingly male – it wasn’t exactly a great night to try and get them to sing. I thought it went well, though. I certainly don’t think God was very insulted by it! Great!