The Shekinah-Spirit and Worship

Songs don’t bring the glory down, they sing the glory back

The Spirit within the Church has taken the place of the Shekinah within the Temple. When we have such a theology of the renewed Temple we are observing the foundation of all that might be said about...worship.

- NT Wright

The challenge we face as a contemporary worship movement isn't that we will find the 'new sound' or the 'next thing' in worship, but that we will fail to appreciate just how much Jesus' cross (death, resurrection, ascension) has actually already achieved for us and the church.

God is present by His Spirit, in glory, in us, with us. Because of Jesus.

And if our starting point is that God is here and we are loved, then our whole posture in worship changes and our striving ceases. Celebrity is replaced by community and stage presence is replaced by 'here-with-us' presence. The glory of leaders fades in comparison of the glory of God in our fellow worshippers' "unveiled faces".

Songs don't bring the glory down but sing the glory back - to God and his people and the world we live in. The Shekinah doesn't signal his approval of our worship by "turning up" when we sing the right songs in the right way. He is here already, closer than we think, in-us-with-us inspiring our worship from the start. The God-with-us Spirit-Shekinah is both the initiator and recipient of our worship.

Worship revolves around the presence of God, not the other way around. Just as in the Temple, so in the Church, where two or three are gathered, He is here. Moses stepped into the cloud. Now the cloud has stepped into us. This is our inheritance, our gift, our birthright, the reason we now have to worship.