I said two days ago that I would return to my thoughts on whether writing worship is ever finished. It is a question I find myself asking whenever I have to write worship that is to be shared or printed in some form.
Writing worship is something I enjoy doing. There is fun to be had trying to think of images to describe God, and the relationships of humanity. Playing with words there is an opportunity to learn a little bit more for myself as well. So week by week, I enjoy the reading that leads to an ability to find prayers and a sermon that hopefully inspire other people.
However on a week by week basis, although I declare myself finished at a certain time on a Saturday evening, there is no actual finish of the preparation for worship. Instead even in the midst of worship as you encounter a word or a phrase there is an opportunity to be guided by the Holy Spirit and something new can take shape away from what is written before You.
That sense of not being finished though continues beyond worship for me though, because the words spoken are only a moment and instead the guiding of the Spirit should be stirring those listening to respond in the lives they lead. This is one of the many reasons why I feel uncomfortable about people having the script of what I said, or of having sermons on line to hear – although both of these things now happen.
For me handing out a Script or a setting of what was said, ties you to one image or picture. Whereas worship should offer a beginning to the life that is to be led in the presence of God.
So with a notion of worship as something that can change on a whim, and lead to something different, I have wrestled with preparing material for other people to use because in preparing it, it has to be finished. Once it is in print and submitted there is no further opportunity for me to change it. I’ve found that tough. It’s why I struggle to be ready for deadlines, because I keep tinkering wanting to make sure that everything that needs to be said is there.
I’m slowly learning that I have to trust that others will do the same as I do, and look at someone else’s writing and adapt it to suit them and their situation. So I have to learn that what I write is not finished. Instead there is work to be done by others as they share an encounter with God.