Reflections on our life and lessons in uganda
Reflections on Worship
You have probably noticed that we have been more active than anticipated online recently. One, we are utilizing good wifi while we have it (being that the power does go off for days at a time). Two, we haven’t started class yet (which starts Wednesday) so we are trying to utilize the free time we have to update before we get busy and cannot
So we attended our first Ugandan church service at Kasana Community Church here at New Hope. Church was a total of 2 ½ hours. We worshipped in song for an hour and a half! And I have noticed something incredible about the worship in this place: they can’t contain themselves! Especially the group of men leading at another city site which is specifically for the rehabilitation of child soldiers. They get so excited about worshipping Jesus that they just leap and dance and shout.
I have to be honest, back in American churches I would probably have been offended by such behavior. But that is because I have much pride still for the Lord to rid me of and American worship culture is not that. As NHU Ministries US president said “In America we stand still and if the Spirit really works we might put a hand up”. To see someone leaping as high as they could in the air shouting would seem nearly obscene to us in a US church, right?
Now I am not saying, NOT saying, that there is a right way to worship. The ONLY definitive I will make about a right or wrong way to worship is that “God is Spirit and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24). So that is what I will say about that.
But I will say that there is faith produced by trials and tribulations, and many of these people have known TRIALS and pains. And yet instead of bitterness, I see in these believers an almost uncontainable love for God. He saved some of them out of pits of despair so low I would have probably not survived had I been them. He pulled them through and was their guide. So now all they can do is proclaim what He has done and shout, sing, clap, dance for joy. I wondered to myself, ‘if I had known trials like many of those dancing men and clappping women, would I also find God so indescribable, so incredible, so beautiful that I wouldn’t be able to contain myself either?’ Now, I worshipped God wholeheartedly in the US (sometimes). But the more time I spend here, the more I am convinced that having easy, trial free lives is both a blessing and a curse. I can only truly know how far God can reach into the depths by being in them. David had an incredibly hard life, and He knew God so intimately because He was all David had many times.
Now don’t misunderstand me, I am not about to pray for hard times (I don’t have that much faith yet haha). I am merely encouraging us to look deeply at our personal worship. How often do I stand in church with eyes closed merely making sounds while my mind is elsewhere? Too often. I am challenging myself (and all of you too) to take a minute every time we go to worship and think hard about where and what God saved us from. Even if your life has not been incredibly difficult (as is my case), there is still the awe-inspiring fact that Jesus kicked down the gates of hell to claim us as His own. If that doesn’t inspire a little jumping and dancing in me, I don’t know what will.
Psalm 30:1-4, “I will extol You, O Lord, for You have lifted me up, and have not let my foes rejoice over me. O Lord my God I cried out to You and You healed me. O Lord you brought my soul up from the grave; You have kept me alive that I should not go down to the pit. Sing praise to the Lord, you saints of His, and give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name!”
To see some worship from here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPPTKQSxknM
1/20/2016 05:52:50 am
Awesome post!!! I'm thankful for the challenge and will certainly begin worship service just thinking upon God's grace throughout my life! Stay the course! God is doing a great work I need and through you guys!
1/20/2016 03:13:18 pm
1/20/2016 10:43:10 pm
I pray you gain the freedom to dance before the Lord! There is nothing like it - the release of joy and love and worship. In my staid Episcopal church there were a few times when the Holy Spirit was so strong, almost everyone danced - it was just a joining of hands and prancing (can't think of a better word) all up and down the aisles. Pure Joy! And my first Sunday back at C4 I couldn't stand still - couldn't dance, my walker had to hold me up and it's a bit clumsy as a partner, but the feet and body were moving. I probably looked silly, but there was no way to just stand there and hold up my hands. God was so very present it was indescribable, but you have seen it there! Awesome God doesn't begin to describe Him. Be filled with the Holy Spirit to the MAX! We Americans are so worried about how others see us, we sometimes miss out. I'll try hard not to be a disturbance or an offense to my brothers and sister at C4 but sometimes it's hard. Maybe I should be thankful for my weak body and clumsy walker! I love you and pray every time I walk by my frig and see your picture....which is very often! God be with you in your studies and in your spiritual growth. xoxo
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