Why Responsive readings?
Learning to worship
Sometimes my boys do things to make each other mad. The other day my oldest two spent easily an hour putting together some rather complex lego robots and were enjoying their labors by inventing all kinds of imaginary scenarios for these creations. By the time they were deep into their imaginary world, my youngest son woke up from a nap and was eager to play with his big brothers. They, however, were afraid he would break their lego creations and told him no. The youngest was not receptive to this rejection so he pressed them further about playing. Again, they said no and took more measures to keep him out of the mix. You can imagine how the scene unfolds. First we see the teeth clamp down, then we hear some screaming, some foot stomping, and sometimes some deftly placed right crosses. When such a situation comes up there is some discipline but there is also an attempt to help them more properly handle their frustration and anger. They simply don’t know what to do when they are feeling such strong emotions and need to be taught.
Just like children need to learn how properly to respond in certain settings, we also need to learn how to respond to God’s activity in worship. Responsive readings help us to do that. We seek to use them as teaching tools. In your worship experience with us, please see them in this light – don’t just read through them without thinking about what you are reading. In fact, it wouldn’t hurt to read through the responsive readings beforehand so that you’re actually participating in worship and not just mouthing words.
Building our vocabulary
Another key use of responsive readings is to build up our vocabulary regarding God, his redemptive activity, and our condition. Without a vocabulary we are limited in our understanding and appreciation. If you want to appreciate the work of an engineer when he tells you elements of his work that excite him, you must understand his vocabulary – otherwise all you can do is nod and pretend. Reponsive readings help expand our vocabulary for the wonders of God and thus increase our own appreciation for his mercy on our behalf.
Connecting with the broader church
Finally, responsive readings help us connect with the church catholic (i.e. universal). They are often confessions of faith that were written and used in the historic church and allow us to see that we are part of something bigger than a small congregation in Katy, Texas.
Though we use responsive readings, we don’t eliminate time for individual response. Worship is also an experience. Hopefully our experience in God’s presence will be deepened through our continual learning to worship.
Stay ConnectedRead more about the Table Project as a tool for connecting with people at Cornerstone.