What does two hours of “worship piano” sound like?  I had to know.  After all, the all-knowing YouTube seems to have thought I would like it.

And I did, I guess.  I love piano music.  Very relaxing, very melodic.  As good, at least, as the rain forest noises that accompany my typical Sunday afternoon nap.

I wouldn’t call it “worship,” though.  If you want to argue the piano player was “worshiping” during the performance, we can have that discussion another time.  But I certainly wasn’t worshiping.  I was listening.

It might have been different if “Amazing Grace,” “I’ll Fly Away” and the like were on the program.  Then I might be reciting the words in my mind, and I would have to decide whether that constituted worship — the “contemporary Christian music” argument that has waged hot and heavy for most of my life.  But I barely recognized these tunes.  I could hardly “sing with the spirit” (1 Corinthians 14:15) if (a) I wasn’t singing at all, and (b) I didn’t even know the words I’m not singing.

All of this is to say, I think we have lost sight of what worship is.  Worship is a thoughtful and reverential offering of spiritual service (Romans 12:1), performed by humans.  I do not honor God by listening to pretty tunes.  I honor God by lifting up His name with my mouth (Psalm 113:1-4).

And while I’m at it, I might as well do it the way we are told — “making melody with your heart [that is, not your piano] to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:19).

Oh, and by the way, will someone explain to me how listening to other people worship satisfies my own obligation to worship?  Just asking. 

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