Worshiping God For Salvation From Shame
God has saved us from shame unto honor, we are called to worship our Great Patron and Exalt-er. But how exactly? Most public worship and liturgies emphasize confession of transgressions and assurance of pardon/forgiveness, perpetuating the guilt-innocence theological paradigm. But how can Majority World communities creatively worship God for His faithfulness in saving us from shame as well? A team of us in Clarkston, GA won a generous grant from the Calvin Institute of Calvin Christian Worship to help 10+ refugee pastors/congregations creatively express their own Exodus-like journey from shame to honor. Political instability, emigration, refugee camps, and immigration/refugee experiences create not only material poverty for refugees, but also social alienation and status deprivation. Despite the shame uniquely experienced as refugees, the Christians of ethnic congregations appropriate primarily Western theology and worship approaches for liturgy and life. In response, our team will facilitate a year-long mentoring and collaborative process with leaders from 12-14 ethnic congregations to create, present, and memorialize a creative artifact that publicly worships God for deliverance from shame – a pivotal cultural component for Majority World Christians. The grant project mirrors the prominent Old Testament motif of worshiping God by creatively recounting how God delivered His people from social disgrace. Hannah’s song (1 Sam 2), Psalm 136, the feast of Purim, hymn of Phil 2:5-11, and OT narratives of Israel’s faith heroes (i.e., Joseph, Ruth, Daniel, Job, Esther) epitomize the biblical pattern of worshipfully remembering God’s deliverance from shame. Why I mention the grant:
- Do you know an example of ethnic arts/music addressing the themes of honor and shame? Please share, we would greatly benefit from any examples.
- As you minister among the nations, how could you encourage indigenous worship, in terms of forms and content? Perhaps this spurs some ideas for your context.
- FREE MONEY!! Well, its not that easy, but they do give 30+ grants yearly, max $10,000. Dream big…then explore here. Perhaps you will be a grant recipient next year, to advance His honor & glory among the nations!