I hope you are all excited to get back into the fall routines. Summer is a great opportunity to take a break, but as we get back into things I hope we are renewed in our sense of passion and purpose. And what is our purpose as part of Cornerstone Music & Arts? To be committed worshipers who use the arts to equip the body of Christ. There are quite simply some things we should never take a break from. First and foremost is our relationship with Christ. True love doesn’t look for separation; it is consumed with attachment, and never can find the end of the joy and contentment of being in the presence of what we love. You can find the proof of that in all kinds of relationships and activities we pursue. What hockey fan gets tired of hockey? They are committed to their team. A young couple will go to great lengths to rearrange their schedule so that they can be together. They’ll stay up late; they’ll drive hundreds of miles. So if we love God, and understand that we have a relationship with Him, then we will spend time with Him and immerse ourselves in scripture, prayer and community worship.
I just recently read Song of Solomon, and at first glance it is a really strange inclusion to what we call the Bible. I mean, who let that get in? It’s a long love story written in poetic form. Now for any guy reading this, our first response is to run from any kind of romance novel, romantic comedy, or romantic anything. But I had to think about the time when this was written, who wrote it, and who it was written for. These are the questions we have to ask if we’re going to learn anything from God’s word. So in this case, a man wrote it, and he was writing it at a time when women were never the audience. It was written for men to read. This should have us immediately take it out of the light romance ghetto. Also, Solomon was the wisest man to ever live. We probably can all learn something from the wisest man who ever lived. So what is it we are supposed to learn?
All of scripture points to Christ, and so Song of Solomon is ultimately a story about God and how his relationship with us should be. And what does that look like? Chapter 6:3 has the famous line: “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine…” There is this incredible picture of our relationship with God and that when God and mankind meet there is this incredible union and joining together. I think that is why we call one of our key worship components communion. Our relationship with God is meant to be this intimate exchange where thoughts and emotions are shared and we have this commonality as we are formed more and more into the image of Christ.
The tragedy, or the temptation, is to go through the motions. We can easily coast through our relationship with God. This leads us to have a form of religion, but no joy, no passion, no purpose, and ultimately no Jesus.
“It might be hard to conceive, but it is entirely possible to have an experience with God and yet not have a saving experience with God. So not only is it possible to have a religious experience apart from Christ, and apart from salvation, but it is also possible to have worship apart from Christ and apart from salvation. This is chilling to think it is possible to go through the motions of worship and not worship right.” A. W. Tozer.
We are worship leaders. We are not here to point out the direction to God, as if someone came into our service station looking for directions. We’ve all been frustrated in the grocery store when some well meaning staff person waves vaguely in the direction of aisle 7 and we’re still not going to find what we’re looking for. Leaders are taking people places, and they do it by going first, by experiencing first, by taking the risks, by blazing the trail and by going where no one has gone before. This means we need to be diving into our relationship with Jesus, and drinking deep of that communion. Only through this will we truly get where we want to go. Yes, I want great high quality music. I want our rehearsals to run well and efficiently. But greater than all these things, I want us to know Christ, to love Christ, and to live Christ. All else is just going through the motions.
Pastor Lorn Gieck