Sunday, July 6, 2008

Seeking Worship

I've had a very interesting and God-centric Sunday so far, and it's only 12:30pm! Who knows what the rest of the day may bring :)

To start from the beginning - Friday I read The Yada-Yada Prayer Group by Neta Jackson, was extremely affected by it and started thinking that I'd really like to get back 'properly' in touch with God. I don't mean to say that I've moved away from Him, but reading about the experiences the women in the book had made me realize how much I miss the worshipping aspect of church services. My church is great for sermons and fellowship, but worship? Not so much. It's mostly hymns and while I love most of them, they don't get me moving the same way worship songs do. That was one of the things Central Baptist church in Palmy did really well, and one of the things I miss the most from that church.

Yesterday I came down with a cold and consequently slept really badly last night. As I was lying awake, I started missing my church life in NZ more and more and the thought kept going through my mind that I ought to try to find a church here that could provide me with what I needed, worship-wise. Unfortunately I don't know of any Evangelical Lutheran churches that would have that (actually Haraldskirken is probably one of the ones that come closest), but I have a friend who got married at a Pentecostal church relatively close to where I live (on Drejervej by Nørrebro), so figured I might look into that. This morning when I got up, I tried Googling it and discovered they have three services each Sunday - an 'ordinary' service at 10am, a youth service at 12:30pm (which was on Summer break in July and August though) and an international service at 3pm. The descriptions of all of them said they "put great emphasis on worshipping". Excellent! It was 9am at this time, so I figured that since I was up anyway, and didn't have any responsibilities at Haraldskirken, I might as well jump in right away and go.

I am SO glad I did. It was just what my soul needed. I'd brought my "The Message" Bible (the Bible written in contemporary English) as it's the most handy for lugging around, and while I was sitting waiting for the service to start, I flipped open the Bible to read through some Psalms. The first one I stumbled across could not have been more appropriate. Psalm 108, verses 1 and 2: I am ready, God, so ready, ready from head to toe. Ready to sing, ready to raise a God-song. Yes! I know it's paraphrased, I know it's not exactly what it says in other translations (after all, I had to look it up in the Danish Bible when I came home), but at that moment it described my emotions exactly. I was so ready to open myself to God. So ready to lift up songs of praise and let myself be filled with His Spirit. In that Psalm, David expressed exactly how I was feeling at precisely that time. I was ready 'from head to toe' to start worshipping God.

It's seldom I receive that clear a word from God that I'm doing the right thing :)

And the service was great. Wonderful spirit-filled worship, heartfelt prayers and sound theology. I'd been a bit apprehensive about the message of the sermon, as I really don't know much about how Pentecostal and Lutheran theology differs other than adult vs. infant baptism, but today's preaching was on Matt 15:21-28 (Jesus helping a Canaanite woman after initially refusing her - an odd story until fully understood) and while perhaps a bit 'easier' (I wasn't challenged much, but reminded of things I already knew) than I would have preferred, absolutely both sound theology and interesting preaching - didn't get bored at all though the sermon lasted for 30 minutes :-D

So the verdict for now is that I'll definitely be going back, and I want to try out the two other services as well to see what they're like - have a feeling I'd probably feel quite at home at the international one, but I want to give them all a try. While of nature not quite as charismatic as Pentecostals, I'm definitely at home in more charismatic services than found in the Danish State Church (LOVED the Baptist services in NZ), and it gave me such a sense of freedom and relief to not feel out of place loosing myself to the worship.

I'm not saying I'm ready to leave Haraldskirken, 'cause I'm not. I love the people there and enjoy Morten's preachings. Also, I'm still in the church council and have agreed to stay there for another term (4 years), so changing church homes completely would feel a bit too much like abandonment. Besides, I can't really base anything on one visit, and want to be sure I'm not made to feel uncomfortable by having different beliefs on some issues than they do. But taking into consideration how amazing I felt when the worshipping started, I could see myself coming regularly both places.

It was just what I needed.

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