"What would you do if you know you could not fail?" This quote is attributed to First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. As we explore what it means to worship, I invite you to consider a nuance to this quote, “How would you worship if you knew that there was no incorrect way to do so , nothing that would be deemed as a failure?
How would you express your love and gratitude for God, if the only requirement were for it to be authentic to you and your experience? The other quote that comes to mind is, “dance like no one is watching”.
The camp song, "trumpet sounds” is often how we start our worship in the Rejoicing Spirits community. Praise the Lord with trumpet sounds. Praise the Lord with clashing symbols. Praise the Lord with a big bass drum. Praise the Lord with song and dance. There are as many ways, modes, means, and expressions of worship, as there are people.
Psalm 139 reminds us, we are each fearfully and wonderfully made. This past week when I was in New Orleans, to learn more about the upcoming ELCA youth gathering in July, we were invited to be part of a parade.
Our second line parade band met us across the street from the hotel in a parking garage. This was our parade start. We had a police escort. We marched and danced down the center of the street led by the musicians and those who had volunteered to twirl the hand decorated parasols. We were on our way to the restaurant for our first evening together. The parade culture of New Orleans invited us to start our time together in celebration.
Trumpet sounds. Clashing cymbals. Drums. Dancing. Mardi Gras masks and beads. Traffic stopped. People coming out from restaurants and bars to watch the parade go by. Cars honking their horns in encouragement.
It was festive way to start our time. Of the sixty-five or so folks who traveled in this parade on our way for a shared meal, each person participated in a way authentic to themselves. New Orleans is home to many parades, bands, much music on corners and all sorts of ways to sing and dance and engage one’s spirit. It was beautiful.
As we explore loving God with all our spirit I wonder what that looks like for you? How would you worship if you knew that all that was required was to be true to yourself? How would you sing, dance, give God praise if you knew no one was watching?