Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Emerson's perspective on worship

Dr. Gouge shared this in his welcome to worship on Sunday morning:

"A person will worship something, have no doubt about that. We may think our tribute is paid in secret in the dark recesses of our hearts, but it will [come] out. That which dominates our imaginations and our thoughts will determine our lives, and our character. Therefore, it behooves us to be careful what we worship, for what we are worshiping we are becoming." ~RALPH WALDO EMERSON~

Louie Giglio, one of the founders and key leaders of the Passion worship movement, noted recently that we are all excellent worshipers. Worship is a part of our DNA as human beings. It is one of the primary driving forces of our lives. The question, Giglio says, is not whether I am a good worshiper. The question is: “To what or to whom am I giving my worship?” The obvious list may be forming in the mind already: entertainment, pleasure, wealth, notoriety, achievement, relationships, experiences, etc.

There is a subtler force at work, however, that may not be quite so obvious. It happens when we allow the things about the worship of God to distract us from actually worshiping God. We will say that we just can’t worship God in certain locations. We will allow the presence (or absence) of certain conditions (or musical instruments) to prevent us from ascribing to the Lord the glory due His name. What are we saying? “Lord, You are worthy of my worship … unless something I see or hear doesn’t meet my expectations.” How narcissistic have we become?

Where Emerson’s quote hit me between the eyes is perhaps even more subtle and hard to detect. It is when I spend much time in and around the things of God, yet neglect to spend time with God. It is quite possible for those of us who are deeply involved in church to miss encounters with God just because we’re busy about stuff. We go through the motions, but fail to truly connect.

I can spend all day at the church working on good things that matter, but if I fail to first focus my attention on God and His work in my life, it matters little in my personal walk with Christ. In Luke 10 when Martha got so upset because her sister Mary wouldn’t help in the kitchen, Jesus said that Mary was the one with her priorities in order. I still don’t understand how they would have eaten if Martha hadn’t been doing stuff in the kitchen, but Emerson is right.

That’s enough to think about for now.


Blogger JATB said...

Thanks, Mo.

Good thoughts.

I find many weeks that I've spent many hours studying the text for Sunday's sermon, but I still don't feel as if I've spent any time reading the Bible that week. That may be hard for a lot of people to understand, but it happens a lot.

5:14 PM  
Blogger Morris said...

I don't think it's hard for anyone who has been in local church ministry leadership to understand at all. Sometimes we just get so busy in the preparation and carrying out aspects of ministry that we neglect our own souls. It's an occupational hazard, to be sure.

9:48 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home