Worship will never end

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Worship will never end; whether there be buildings, they will crumble; whether there be committees, they will fall asleep; whether there be budgets, they will add up to nothing. For we build for the present age, we discuss for the present age, and we pay for the present age; but when the age to come is here, the present age will be done away.

–N. T. Wright

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Published in: on 01/19/2017 at 20:04  Leave a Comment  
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Reverence and Rejoicing

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It is fascinating to notice how Scripture often combines “furious opposites.” The psalm, for instance, that says, “The LORD reigns, let the nations tremble” is found right alongside another that declares, “Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth” (Psa. 99:1; 100:1). This God evokes both holy trembling and happy shouting. He inspires dread and delight (Psa. 2:11). In his presence we are constrained not only to bow down but also to dance, to be awestruck and joy-filled. It makes for a great mix. Here is worship that motivates holiness and happiness. It frees us from the extremes of frivolity and frigidity, of emotionalism and formalism. Neither reverence or rejoicing should be absent. A fascinating and powerful combination.

–Jurgen O. Schulz

Reverence and intimacy

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The two elements come together in worship . . . The acts of reverence and intimacy need each other. The reverence needs the infusion of intimacy lest it become a cool and detached aesthetic. The intimacy needs to be suffused in reverence lest it become a gushy emotion.

–Eugene Peterson
Living the Resurrection

Debunking the myths

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Men forsook God, and made carved images of men. Since therefore an image of man was falsely worshipped as God, God became truly Man, that the falsehood might be done away.

–Cyril of Jerusalem
(313—386)

Art: Rembrandt

The need to worship

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I need to worship because without it I can forget that I have a Big God beside me and live in fear. I need to worship because without it I can forget his calling and begin to live in a spirit of self-preoccupation.

I need to worship because
without it I lose a sense of wonder
and gratitude and plod through life
with blinders on.

I need worship because my natural tendency is toward self-reliance and stubborn independence.

― John Ortberg

Challenging Caesar

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In every worship service, the Christian ekklesia is renewed in her unique story and language, her unique political experience and vocation. Every worship service is a challenge to Caesar, because every Lord’s Day we bow to a Man on the throne of heaven, to whom even great Caesar must bow. O’Donovan claims that all political order rests on a people’s homage to authority, which is to say, on an act of worship. Every Lord’s Day, the Church is reconstituted as a polity whose obedience is owed to Christ, and we are taught to name Jesus as King of kings and Lord of lords.

―Peter J. Leithart

Not yet dancing

Dancing

As long as you notice, and have to count, the steps, you are not yet dancing but only learning to dance. A good shoe is a shoe you don’t notice. Good reading becomes possible when you need not consciously think about eyes, or light, or print, or spelling. The perfect church service would be one we are almost unaware of; our attention would have been on God.

–C. S. Lewis
Letters to Malcolm

Published in: on 08/02/2014 at 4:30  Leave a Comment  
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The need to worship

Light streaming through forest

I need to worship because without it I can forget that I have a Big God beside me and live in fear. I need to worship because without it I can forget his calling and begin to live in a spirit of self-preoccupation. I need to worship because without it I lose a sense of wonder and gratitude and plod through life with blinders on. I need worship because my natural tendency is toward self-reliance and stubborn independence.

–John Ortberg

Published in: on 06/27/2014 at 11:56  Leave a Comment  
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No such thing as atheism

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In the day to day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is: what to worship. And a compelling reason for maybe choosing some sort of god or spiritual type thing to worship . . . is that anything pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive.

–David Foster Wallace

Published in: on 04/28/2014 at 5:53  Leave a Comment  
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Hard-wired for worship

woman at Jesus ft

The instinct of adoration
is in our blood,
and we are fretful
and fevered until
we find One at whose feet
we can lay the tribute
of our devotion.

–F. W. Boreham ‏

Published in: on 01/26/2014 at 20:01  Leave a Comment  
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