We are currently in phase 3 of Covid-19 guidelines. I see the worship leaders singing and preacher speaking without masks but with social distancing strictly adhered to. The congregation participates in worship but without singing. How do you worship without singing? I suggest a few ways to do it.
Firstly, get it clear. Worship may include singing but singing is not worship. Worship is essentially surrender of our whole selves as a living sacrifice to God, for him to use or lay aside or dispose of as he pleases (Rom 12:1,2) . Without this essential heart posture whatever you do, and whatever use of bodily expressions, including singing, is not worship. So first things first: begin with a prayer of surrender, for example, “Our Father, who is in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” or “Lord, here I am, your servant is listening” or “Lord let it be done to me according to your word” or “Father, not my will but your will be done” or “Father, into your hands, I commit my spirit.” I think you get the idea.
Use all your senses. With your eyes look at the lyrics and scriptures and notice the words, phrase or image that strike you. With your ears listen to what is being sung, said, or played and notice what it stirs in you. Mouth the lyrics or scripture under your breath, under your mask, or even quietly speak or sing in your prayer language. Let your feet move and body sway as the worship leaders sing, and use your uplifted arms as an expression of surrender and praise to God. Take out your wallet or mobile when its time to give of your finances to the Lord.
As the preacher speaks, take note of what desires, ideas, memories or feeling are stirred in you and respond to them in appropriate ways, whether to repent, commit yourself, resolve to trust, or take a certain action, to follow an inspiring example or to give thanks and pray for yourself or others.
Follow all the instructions and precautionary guidelines diligently. This is part of worship. Smile. They cannot see your mouth under the mask, but your eyes does smile, and give eye contact because eyes communicate warmth too.
Top all these with a meal together with others, and share about the ups and downs of the past week, and what God has done for you and in you. This too is part of worship for in our sharing we praise God and others who hear our thanksgiving, join us in their amens.