If our personal or corporate expressions of devotion to the Lord are always with precision and with almost liturgical order and ritual, right down to the right voice, the right inflections, the right decorations, the right ceremony, the right candles and the right timing; there is often only one thing missing: life. If we always know in advance what is going to happen and by whom it will happen and when it will happen, then there will be no surprises, no adventure of the soul and no sudden outbursts of emotion, joy or devotion. Seldom does anything happens to the soul, at least nothing unpredictable; nothing happens in prayer, and no insight is gained from dull reading of a planned unresponsive responsive reading; and no new insight is given and exchanged and encountered in the dull, dead and timed ritual. Life in Jesus is monotone and is monotonous and our God is boring. It is cold, stiff, and sleepy and has the atmosphere of a morgue. We become robots in robes and the machine is oiled by robotic ritual and robotic formality and ceremony that mean nothing except to the dead and noisy exterior of a robotic religion. It becomes not only robotic, but also idiotic and despotic. Life is gone and death has come. The song is silent whether it makes noise or not. This is because the singer is silent. A machine controlling our hearts leaves us in this silence whether personally or corporately.
Then again, some folks seem to like this kind of experience. I’m just not one of them.
“You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition!” Jesus