Stasis– A Follow-up To "Christian Porn"

Many today feel that “worship” must always be ecstatic– thus they equate this with an emotionally transcendent experience– essentially a passionate rush. Christians often live off of these quick fixes from Sunday to Sunday. Some are so addicted that they bounce from worship service to worship service throughout the week seeking to find a place to get one more hit from this sweet drug.

“Ecstatic” and “ecstasy” come from the words “ek” (out, outside of) and “stasis” (balance, motionless, inactivity). Ecstasy is an imbalance (do not immediately consider this as negative!), it is motion, and it is activity. Essentially, it is something beyond the norm.

In some ways, worship is always outside the normal parameters. When we enter into worship (not necessarily speaking about a corporate worship service) and give our bodies as a spiritual act of service/worship, this brings us into a spiritually formative space. As such, it is outside of the average Americans daily routine.

Nevertheless, I do think worship for the Christian person and faith community is to become stasis– the normal state of existence. To follow some prayerful rhythm throughout my day, week, and year. Prayerbooks are beginning to become popular again. I have fallen in love with using one over the past couple of years. At first, they were something very ecstatic. Now, its getting closer to stasis– a daily rhythm that is becoming my daily rhythm and balance.

The Psalms form the “meaty” section of most ancient and contemporary prayerbooks. Being exposed to it and the often ancient prayers that accompany these Psalms has changed the way I enter and consider prayer. It makes me think about my world differently, gives me an expanded imagination for my adoration and intercessions, and challenges me to consider myself and what I speak before God differently.

A great example of this is Psalm 10 where it starts, “Why do you stand so far off, O LORD?” and in then lists off all of the things the wicked are doing in the world. In verse 12 is a call out to God, “Rise up.” It is not my normal way to incite God in such a way. However, the Psalm scripts me to do so. By going down this path, I’m able to reach the destination at the end of Psalm 10: “The Lord is Sovereign…. The Lord will hear the desire of the humble.” Several things happen in such a prayer. 1) A realization that I need God to do something about the evil in the world. 2) A realization of what evil looks like (things I tend to overlook on a daily basis: persecution of the poor, covetous cursing, wicked arrogance, murdering of the innocent, ambushing in the public square, etc). 3) When I get upset and want to use violent means to end the wickedness I see, I must humble myself and seek the face of God. He is the only one who is sovereign. And he hears the cry of the humble rather than the sword of the warrior.

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