Last night, I was at an evening to gather our worship team here at Soul Survivor…we do it once a month, a time to get to know each other better, a chance to hang out and “be” rather than always doing stuff. It was a great night, pretty flipping good burritos and a good natter.
However, it was also a really challenging night, because Mike P came to chat to us about our core value in worship – intimacy.
That’s the goal in worship. The goal is Him. His presence. His power. His love. Worship leaves us, on bended knee, honouring Him. Shouting loud His praise. Whispering our intimate love songs. Us, stilled and silent in the presence of the King. But He is the focus, the goal and the centre. Our sound and lights, even our songs, are all just there as an arrow to point to Him. (If they do anything other than that, chuck them away!!) Worship is for Him, for Him alone.
But out of worship, there must be a response…God addresses it directly in Amos 5..
23 Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps. 24 But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!
If justice isn’t our response then our songs mean nothing. The pre-cursor to these verses is pretty hard hitting. God doesn’t want to hear our songs or listening to our music if our hearts and lives aren’t seeking justice. One without the other is hypocrisy. This whole chapter is a lament, a mourning for what has been, and a call to repentance or a turning away from the old ways to embrace the new.
But there is a voice of hope in amongst these verses of seeming despair. God says “seek me and live” (v.5) – don’t go elsewhere for life, don’t try looking for it in this place or that. Seek ME and live. God is the beginning of life, and in Him life continues.
Justice is the response to worship. As we seek God and live, our response is to pursue justice that rolls on like a river, living lives of righteousness like a never-failing stream.
I wonder what the world would look like if we all took that seriously?