Worship: That Is Worthy

2016 February 16. Worship: That Is Worthy. This past Sunday, Diane and I worshipped with my brother and his family at Calvary CRC in Ottawa. (Surprise: my diesel started on at -28.5 degrees!) The ripples in my mind went far afield (as usual).

What is worship? The Old English word is worthscip. It is a word like hardship. Hardship is the experience of something that is hard, and so worship is the experience of something that is worthy. When we worship God on Sunday, we declare that he alone is worthy. As Peterson says, “In worship God gathers his people to himself as center: ‘The Lord reigns’ (Ps. 93:1).” Worship is a meeting at the centre so that our lives are centered in God and not lived eccentrically (off-centre). (You don’t want to be eccentric, do you!?) Rev. Pieter Heerema quoted C. S. Lewis from The Screwtape Letters in which the senior devil advises a young devil how to lead people to fall. He says, in effect, don’t tell people that God lies and don’t tell them not to obey God; only tell them, “you can do it tomorrow.” If people do this, said Heerema, they will move God slightly to the left or to the right, but God will no longer be central. Then they are on their way down.

I need to be aware of this danger, for the minute God is not at the centre of everything in my life, then I am saying, in effect, that he is not the only one worthy of my love; then I am worshipping an idol; then I am not devoted only to him. And my worship in church has to be carried into worship in all of life: my marriage, family, friendships, employment, studies, leisure—everything. The basic question is to what or to whom am I devoting my life. Worship in church is my declaration that God alone is worthy of my love and devotion; life outside of church is my demonstration that I really believe this.

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