On Spontaneity and Structure: What We Remember

Webber writes:

“One does not need to become liturgical to become more biblical in worship. Remembrance of God’s actions in history to save the world can be effectively done in a spontaneous way as well.”

I know that I am an individual that thrives on some level of loose structure. If I don’t have structure, I know that I am going to fairly easily go to my default drives, which is towards laziness and paths of least resistance.

Georges Rouault, Fin d'automne, paysage bibliq...

Image by *clairity* via Flickr

Structure, however, makes me work. Structure forces me to do what I would not normally do, and many times, that is for my betterment. So though I appreciate what Webber is saying here as a casual nod to those who would want to practice what he is endorsing while not feeling to staid, I can only speak to my own personal experience as a worshipper. Without structure, I do what is easiest. And what is easiest is generally what is most “immediately satisfying” to me, not what is most “long-term beneficial” to me.

This is why I so appreciate the book Seeking God’s Face: Praying with the Bible through the Year because it gives my prayer life some degree of structure and form. It asks me to pray through things that I would not ordinarily think of, and causes me to meditate on things that would otherwise be foreign to me.

Remembering God’s actions in history in a spontaneous way presupposes that we have internalized God’s actions in history so that there is some common wellspring of knowledge for those things to emerge from. We can’t retell a story we don’t know all that well, unless we start making up some of the details, and that doesn’t seem like it would be very healthy. Of course, you can delve in to a bit more of my previous thoughts on that topic here and here.

I am a pastor, a husband, a father, and a lover of Jesus. I am also an unpredictable blogger, who can go for several years without blogging a thing, and then inexplicably write a book. Perhaps this is one of those times.

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Posted in Commentary, Theology, Worship Matters

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