Frozen Chosen

Then David danced before the Lord with all his might; and David was wearing a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting and with the sound of the trumpet.                                                      
2 Samuel 6: 14-15  
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.                                                       
Romans 12:1  
 
There’s a humorous graphic I’ve seen entitled “Non-denominational Guide to Official Worship Signals”, and it has twelve hand-drawn examples of varying levels of hand raising in worship, from rookie “Carry the TV” (picture hands down by the waist, palms turned upwards as if to carry a midsize television) to intermediate “My fish was this big” (arms stretched out about 18 inches apart) to pro “Goalposts + heartburn” (arms stretched out like goalposts with a related heart-covering arm movement), and lastly, to expert “Touchdown” (I’m hoping no explanation needed to picture this one). It makes me giggle, because I’ve seen each of these examples in various events and concerts I’ve been to. I myself have raised my hands at various levels, depending on how full of the Spirit I have felt (that’s a given) and the venue, though my comfort level admittedly doesn’t extend in the “expert” level as of yet.
 
This past Sunday six-year old Mateo stood in the front of the congregation and shared his praise of our Lord in song, his young voice not wavering a bit as he sang to Him. I marveled at his courage and at lack of inhibition in his captivating worship.
 
A couple of months ago Jericho sang “Revelation Song”, and I felt like I had a front-row ticket to the heavenly host singing a chorus of praise to our King. It was a bounty of praise and glory in vertical worship. From my vantage point as liturgist, I glanced out into the congregation and saw a few people raising their hands in worship.
 
Last month I was blessed to be able to see Tim Timmons, Tenth Avenue North, and MercyMe in concert with a friend from work. I was surrounded by thousands of believers who all sang along, most of them moved by the visceral presence of the Holy Spirit to raise their hands to praise the Giver of Life.
 
I’m sure you’ve heard the congregations of Presbyterians and other Protestant denominations sometimes referred to as the “Frozen Chosen”. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, I’ll explain: according to the Dictionary of Christianese, one definition applies to Christians in mainline denominations whose church services and styles of worship are more formal and orderly than the services of other denominations such as Pentecostals, Evangelicals, and charismatics (others attribute the term to those who believe in predestination (“chosen”) and that the salvation of the elect was unchangeable (“frozen). I’m focusing on the first definition). I’m curious to know what you think about the moniker and if you would apply it to our overall congregation. If you can’t discern already, I kind of feel that it’s an apt description of how we (the collective “we”) are at times during our worship service. I know that some of you are going to protest and say that the Lord knows the heart of each and every one of us, and the degree to which you raise your hands in praise (or not) or surrender to the heart-swelling movement of the Holy Spirit as you respond to the pastor’s message with an emphatic “Amen!” (or not) is not a indicator of the strength of your spiritual walk. And you are right. The degree to which you visibly worship Him is between you and Him. And no, I wouldn’t want you to do something that is insincere or theatrical just to disprove a point.
 
That being said, though…if you agree that the nickname is appropriate for our congregation, does it bother you? Should it? Friends, I gotta tell you that I want the Holy Spirit to set us on fire! I want the air to be so thick with His presence during our service that we move in one accord to praise and glorify our Creator. I want us to be filled with joy as we study His word and hear the sermon, and I’d love to see that joy to come out in demonstrable ways, both during the service, and throughout the week. I’d love for people who don’t know the Lord yet but who visit our church to be instantly curious about what we (Who) we have and how they can get it. This is especially important now, as we find ourselves at an exciting time to grow His church! Can I get an “Amen”?  
 

Prayer Requests

  • For our nation, as we await the results of the mid-term elections
  • Praise for His hand in good-news health reports, healings, and improvements
  • For us to be obedient to and discerning of His will for our lives
  • For us to be instruments of His love and hope
  Dear ones, He loves us so very much. Let’s show Him the same in our study, action, and worship.  
 

Quotes

 
“Worry is a conversation you have with yourself about things you cannot change. Prayer is a conversation you have with God about the things He can change.”
 
“The only one who can truly satisfy the human heart is the One who made it.”