Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart is famous for one thing. He is not famous for being from Jackson, Michigan, although that is an established fact. He is mostly known for a singular quote he made in his deposition on the obscenity case “Jacobellis v. Ohio.” Speaking on hardcore pornography, and whether or not the movie in question was or was not, he said, “I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description (hardcore pornography); and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it…” Incidentally, he deemed that the movie in question was not.
I know it when I see it. A lot of pastors have used this quote toward the negative, and for obvious reason, but I’m twisted. You didn’t know that? It’s true. So I’m going to use that phrase for something positive. I, personally, cannot define what true worship looks like. That’s probably because it is different for everyone. It’s not as simple as stating that it involves hot licks on the guitar, soft notes on the piano, being fast or slow. I just don’t know. Sometimes I dread worship at church, because I am not moved to move as much as other people. Everyone seems to be looking to God, raising their hands, clapping, or whatever. And I don’t like just standing there looking like a curmudgeon, but I refuse to pretend. Mostly my worship is very inward, and I am very still. My hand will go up very rarely. Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone) seems to get me every time. It got me on Sunday. Maybe it’s cause I’m happy to know that my chains have been removed, and I’m only tied up by them when I stupidly choose to put them back on. I can be free from any sin I struggle with; I already am. It’s just choosing to be free. The point is that I do not worship like most of the people I am around at church. To some, I may not look worshipful at all. I might even look angry, when I am actually very happy about what God has done.
Can I define true worship? Nope. It looks different to different people. People react differently to it. It has not one true form. But I know it when I see it. Would I get in trouble for saying that hard core pornography and worship seem to have one thing in common then? I probably would, so I won’t say it.
Here’s a video with some real worship from Kevin Rush. Man does he know how to inspire worship. AND, I just love one of the ladies on his worship team. That’s her picture up top.