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Thinking about the languages of time and space

November 8, 2008
For The Institute of Contemporary and Emerging Worship Studies, St. Stephens University, Essentials Red Online Worship History Course with Dan Wilt.

I love a good story.

In a good story, I’m propelled to where the story is taking place.

I relate to the characters in the story.

I care about what is happening.

There are numerous ways a good story can be told-

A storyteller recounts a tale,

A writer crafting thoughts on a page,

The sights and sounds of a story being told through video.

A good story captures me.

No story is better than God’s story.

God’s story is amazing.

A story that began before time and continues on.

A story that never ends!

You and I are part of God’s story.

Those who came before us are a part of God’s story.

Those who live now are a part of God’s story.

Those who will come after us are a part of God’s story.

Worship is one of the primary ways we tell God’s story.

God initiates, reveals to us His story and we respond with worship.

As we respond, we remember what Jesus has done for us and we cannot help but respond with worship again.

Again and again this cycle repeats and never ceases to be amazing!

‘What Christ has done in the past is again given to the worshiper to experience and appropriate in the present.’¹

Those before us found value in utilizing the language of time in telling God story.

The early Christ followers set up the church year as they remembered and retold God’s story. The church year (think Christmas, Easter, etc.)

‘is a constant reminder of gifts that we cannot create but can only accept.’²

Whether on our own or with other Christ followers, we use space to tell God’s story-

Big or small,

formal or casual,

outside or in.

Ultimately, it’s not the kind of space we are in that is important. Instead, it is the Holy Spirit at work in, through, and around us that makes the space sacred.

God’s story continues whether we choose to engage in the telling of it or not.

We cannot help but be affected by telling or not telling God’s story.

When we don’t engage in telling God’s story, we forget all that God has done.

Forgetting causes us to wither.

However, when we respond to God’s initiation and retell His story, we flourish.

The Holy Spirit removes the cobwebs that have collected in our minds, hearts and souls.

Renewed, we join with voices from the past, present and future.

We offer all of ourselves to God in worship and tell His story (again).

¹James White, Introduction to Christian Worship (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2000),
²James White, Introduction to Christian Worship (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2000),
3 Comments leave one →
  1. phildok permalink
    November 8, 2008 2:39 am


    I love your reflections. Not only does your format and spacing have such amazing impact but your focus on story just grabbed me. I have been reading heaps in the past about this idea of story and narrative (check out my blog for a book i read that traces the Bible as a 6 Act play).

    This statement you used is fantastic:

    “However, when we respond to God’s initiation and retell His story, we flourish.”

    And it seems from your post that this is extremely evident in your life. May the lord continue to bless you richly as you respond to His voice.


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