In addition to Jared’s post encouraging us to see if our spiritual clothing is appropriate for worship, there have been several other recent articles on the subject of worship that are quite helpful.
Last week Carl Trueman shared one of the most popular articles he has written – one that even years later people correspond with him over – when he offered Reflections on “What Can Miserable Christians Sing?” In one sense, it is surprising an article with that name would be so popular. Yet Dr. Trueman strikes a deep, resonant chord with thoughts such as these:
True, there are Christian poets and even the occasional hymn writer who have captured the dark complexities of life; but there are none to compare with authors of the Psalter who set forth the riches and depths of human experience and existence with perfect poetic pitch. The church which makes the psalms part of her regular diet provides her people with the resources for truly living in this vale of tears, just as the church which does not do so has perversely denied her people a true treasure in pursuit of what? Relevance?
Though not strictly about the subject of worship, Bob Kellerman in The Psalmists’ Rich View of Depression adds another dimension from the perspective of counseling on how the Psalms were designed to minister to the downcast soul.
Somewhat related, yesterday at church we wondered out loud how neglect of the Sabbath Day must contribute to the modern epidemic of depression. Surely it must add to people’s soul weariness and discouragement when they do not experience the weekly rhythm of six days of labor bracketed by the peace of a well-ordered Lord’s Day. In Why I Love an Evening Service, Tim Challies offers solid reasons not only for attending evening services but keeping the day holy unto God. (While you are there, why not look also at the interesting perspective he gives in I Love a Church That Sings Badly? No, he is not encouraging bad singing as a goal in worship, but rather as a fruit of outreach.)
Not only do we need to worship corporately, but families need to be encouraged to draw before God’s throne together. PCA pastor Jason Helopoulos has offered us Eleven Reasons to Worship with Your Family then followed that with The What, When, and How of Family Worship.
May these help you worship the Lord with gladness, even if you also are worshiping with the inevitable sadness this vale of tears brings.