Today, I had the privilege of playing a well-worn contemporary tune with what I believe to be an oft-confused message. In my previous existence as a legalist, I understood this message to be self-focused. Even more recently as a recovering grace pharisee, I had a warped view of what the text was really saying. In typical Western fashion, I operated as though I had intimate knowledge of the author's intent and heart attitude through the lyrics, though I had taken zero initiative to discover what that was.
Today's message was just reiterating how the Gospel is relational, period. There is no skirting the issue. We as human beings are aligning ourselves either with God or with ourselves, and there is no middle ground. If we choose to ignore the relational component of the Good News, then we cheapen grace and effectively nullify the work of Christ at Calvary. We assume the form, but deny His power. It was a great reminder of the Savior's tremendous love and our inability to do anything on our own about it.
In this light then, I was able to re-think the aforementioned song with a joyful heart. Because I am constantly arguing that what churches need is never programmatic, but simply to love each other better, I thought I should take my own advice to heart. A heart that is loved by God is free to express that to others in turn. A loving heart believes and hopes for the best. To put it a different way, the grace of Christ is always anticipating success, rather than failure. In the case of my hangup with this song, I had fallen short of this calling. Instead of looking through the joyful lens of grace, I had looked through the joyless lens of self effort.
So what, then, was the song? The title in question was, "Here I am to Worship". In my practical doubt of the love of the Father, I had always put the emphasis on "Here I am". Such a blatant statement of self-importance is so threatening to someone who is himself self-important. What arrogance! What a narrow view of God to come into His presence singing about how the spiritual party can begin because I have arrived! Thankfully, this morning held something new for me. As I learn more of God's love for me, I am free to celebrate that here, in this spot, in this moment in time, I am blessed to worship the One who loves me so deeply and dearly. I now understand that it's, "HERE I am to Worship".
Oh, what a marvelous difference!