Body Language

Police investigators are trained in the art of reading body language, to pick up on what might actually be going on in a person's mind, despite what they may be saying or doing. Our body language is often an unconcious way that we communicate. We are sometimes not even aware of it.

But our body language does much more than communicate how we are feeling or what we are thinking. A concious approach to our body language in worship will lead to a more intimate experience with God. Rather than just worshipping with our voice, we can at the same time worship with our posture. The hebrew word for worship, shachah, is actually a description of posture. It means to bow down, to prostrate oneself. So posture is obviously very integral to worship.

There are a number of different worship postures that can be used, and lots of different ways of doing things. But right now I want to touch briefly on one particular area:

Open vs. Closed

It can be helpful to think of body language in some simple terms. I like the idea of open vs. closed. Think of a person sitting down, their arms crossed over their chest. This is a closed posture. Now think of a person standing up, their arms wide open. This is an open posture.

Specifically, there are times when I am led to worship with my hands raised near shoulder level, palms up. This makes me feel open, listening, ready to hear from God. With my body I am saying, "I open myself to You."

Other times I lift my hands higher, my palms facing forward, as if to surrender. With my body I am saying "I give up. I give in. I am Yours."

Still other times I will lift my hands as high as they will go, stretching my back, stretching my fingers, reaching for the heavens. With my body I am saying, "I am desperate for Your touch. I want to be close to You."

I wrote a song a while back that touches on this idea of posture. I had in my mind the picture of my son reaching up to me, wanting me to hold him. A child desperate for the touch of his father, longing to be close to him. I wrote the words:

I lift my hands like a child to You
I lift my hands like a child to You
I lift my hopes to You
I lift my dreams to You
I lift my hands like a child to You

And I cry Jesus...

So what are we saying to God with our body language? What does our worship posture say about our feelings, our spirits? How much more completely could we worship if we included our bodies?

Other postures to think about... What do they say? What do they mean?

Bowed head
Bended knee
Prostrate
Dancing
And so many more...

Search the scriptures for more examples of posture in worship. Let me know what you find!


Ken Bussell
Minister of Music & Administration
Our Place Christian Church

>sent via blackberry

1 comment:

wasmachstdugern said...

welcome back yo
see you monday...