What is the usefulness and relevance of movement and posture in corporate worship? This is the 10th in a series on this topic inspired by a chapter in “Participating in Worship” by Craig Douglas Erickson.
Today we look at the issue of Laying on hands.
The most common example of laying on of hands in my fellowships is for the commissioning of elders. It is moving, reverent and meaningful. But do we restrict this acts unnecessarily? Could it have other applications in our times of corporate worship?
What are some Biblical instances of the significance of hands?
“But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.” (Jude 1:20–21 NIV11)
“The Spirit, however, makes our groaning his groaning, putting his prayers to the Father inside our prayers. He does so by placing within us a deep, inexpressible longing to do God’s will and see his glory….The Spirit enables us to long for the future glory of God and his will, even though we don’t know the specific thing we should pray for here and now.” Keller, Prayer, page 72
In light of this truth, the difference this will make to my prayer life is……………..
What is the spiritual difference between “moaning” and “groaning”? Is it important? Biblically, moaning looks super-dangerous (think Israel complaining in the desert), whilst groaning looks meaningful. But, is this accurate? We need to get it right.
This is on my mind for two reasons.
First of all because I’m teaching a class series on the Holy Spirit for the Thames Valley churches of Christ on Friday nights. In the first class (which can be found here), we looked at Romans chapter 8 and the fact that there’s a lot of groaning going on! Creation, ourselves and the Spirit:
“…the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.”
Secondly because Monday of this week gave me cause to groan and temptation to moan. In the podcast I detail what happened regarding my mother’s hip operation. The emotional cost of disappointment and frustration meant that I found myself wrestling with moaning.
I’ve attempted to record this Quiet Time Coaching episode whilst still in the middle of wrestling with the moaning/groaning differences. I hope I’ve created something authentic. Certainly, at the time, I had not fully distinguished what was going on in my heart.
The questions of the hour
Do you agree with me that moaning is different from groaning?
How can we tell when we’re moaning and when we’re groaning?
Do you have any tips you could share that might help us develop better thinking and decisions regarding moaning and groaning?
Are there some Scriptures that you find helpful on these topics?
Please add your comments on this week’s topic. We learn best when we learn in community.
Do you have a question about teaching the Bible? Is it theological, technical, practical? Send me your questions or suggestions. Here’s the email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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