Taste and see that the Lord is good.
- Psalm 34:8a, NIV
Acquired tastes. There are a number of tastes that I have acquired over the years. When it comes to food and drink, I think about coffee, pizza, Asian and Mexican foods -- even spaghetti sauce, salad dressings and toppings on hamburgers. (As I child I grew up eating lots of things "plain" - occasionally, I still do!) Other acquired tastes include jazz, classical, and a Capella music. I could go on, but I think you probably get the picture.
I grew up in a church that did nothing for Holy Week except Easter. Most of what I remember about Easter was getting new Sunday clothes and hoping for good candy in my Easter basket. It wasn't until I because a Presbyterian that I began to even be aware of the longstanding traditions of Holy Week worship services. But, they, too, have become an acquired taste when it comes to worship. However, I am not sure if "acquired taste" is the right terminology. It sounds like I am a consumer of religious experiences, so if I like a particular worship service which meets my needs, then I will be there. Yet, I am also reminded that worship is not primarily about me getting my wants or needs met. Worship is first of all about God.
I once heard a pastor say that at the end of each worship service, we should not ask each other, "Well, what did you think?" Instead, he suggested, we should be asking this: "How well did we worship God?" That is somewhat of a paradigm shift. Soren Kierkegaard said that in worship, we in the congregation are not the audience. He said that the audience for worship is God. It gives new meaning to the phrase we repeat around JCPC: "Worship is the most important thing we do."
I want to invite you to make plans to come this Thursday at 7:30 p.m. for our Maundy Thursday/Tenebrae service. It is different from any other worship service throughout the year. It may even become an acquired taste. The Psalmist put it this way: "Taste and see that the Lord is good."