What Commander Cosmos Taught Me About Worship
A Guest post from Renee Mathis, otherwise known as "Commander Cosmos"
Surprise, surprise. I’ve always been a ham. Why else would a perfectly normal 50 year old woman dress up in super-hero space garb and lead singing and tell Bible stories for a week at VBS? I admit it: I delight in looking out over a crowd and seeing the smiling faces. If one-liners and a tiara can help me communicate something of God’s truth – I’m in! (God does have a way of keeping me humble. After this latest stint with Christ Church’s VBS, I was feeling pretty confident about my performance. And then one well-meaning observer said I reminded him of Princess Leia’s mother. Couldn’t we have stopped with “Princess Leia”?)
While having a woman on stage leading music accompanied by a rockin’ soundtrack is not something that will ever happen on a Sunday morning here at CCK (for which I’m grateful!), there were still a number of lessons I took away from my experience that do apply to Sunday mornings.
1. You might be tired. Show up anyway. As the popular Pinterest post proclaims “Tm tired. I mean, like, Vacation Bible School kind of tired.” I can relate. On top of the usual VBS craziness, we welcomed a new grandson and kept baby’s 2 older brothers while mom recovered. Let’s just say I’d forgotten what all is involved in bathing/dressing/feeding/fixing lunch/etc. a 2 & 4 year old. But guess what? When you start to sing and you put a smile on your face, you remember just who you’re doing this for. Our purpose is to glorify God and when our will leads our emotions will follow.
2. Learn the words. It’s just a lot more fun to sing and praise when you know what you’re doing. Haven’t you ever had one of those “aha” moments when you realize “Hey! I know this one by heart!?” I hope to have a lot more of those moments. They take work and they take preparation, but they’re worth it.
3. Energy, movement, and enthusiasm aren’t enough. Want to hear a very surprising observation? Singing, smiling, and clapping did a great job of telling the kids that we were excited to see them and that they were going to have a great time at VBS. They entered with glowing faces and clapped and marched and…..didn’t sing. That’s right. The most meaningful part of the music, the words which gave praise and glory to God and His creation, were absent. It’s easy to get so caught up in the clapping that we forget to sing! In fact, when we asked the children specifically NOT to clap, their voices rang out. Let’s not mistake enthusiasm for participation.
In a very real sense, what we did at VBS was present a program on a stage for our kids. We learned, practiced and rehearsed. Our goal was to serve God with excellence and I pray we succeeded. In the same way we come to worship on the Lord’s Day and are filled with gratitude for the excellent talent from our musicians and gifted exposition from our pastors, but with one difference. We are not just an “audience,” rather we are co-participants in giving back to our wonderful Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He’s the recipient and deserves our very best.