Ekori ChoirI will celebrate before the LORD. I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes. (2 Samuel 6:21-22) (NIV)

In West Africa they use a method of collecting offerings I call boogie for bucks. The worship band cuts loose with a beat that would make a Buckingham Palace guard tap his foot. Men, women and children in bright Sunday finery form a Conga line and dance past the offering box where they drop off the goods.

On a Sunday forever etched into my memory, I visited a church that added a new twist to boogie for bucks. I couldn’t understand the Nigerian instructions but recognized the offering song. Eager to demonstrate my grasp of their culture, I jumped into the line, money in hand.

It was somewhere past the box, as I shook my bootie in place, that several observations stole over me. First, compared to the other worshipers, I was painfully rhythm challenged. Second, every eye was on me. Third, the men were still seated and only the women danced with me. There was nothing to do except boogie all the long way around the church and back to my chair and enjoy my lesson in humility.

Whether it’s boogie for bucks or singing hymns, one of the richest gifts to earthbound saints is corporate worship. I may exalt God privately all week but I still love to gather with believers for praise and celebration. Like a sip from the throne room in heaven, it  strengthens me to join others touched by God.

What matters during worship is not if our service is traditional or contemporary, but if it is genuine. Nothing is as boring as false liturgy or fake ecstasy. When I look at you or you look at me and we recognize someone so moved by the King of Kings that we transcend caring what others think, that’s dignified worship.

Prayer: Mighty God, help me get over myself and worship you.

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