William Temple once defined worship, as follows:
To worship God is:
To quicken the conscience by the Holiness of God
To feed the mind by the truth of God
To purge the imagination with the beauty of God
To open the heart to the love of God
To devote the will to the purposes of God,
I always want to add to it the words of the shorter Westminster catechism that, the chief end and purpose of mankind (why we are here on earth) is “to glorify God and to enjoy him for ever”.
To worship God is the most thrilling, demanding, absorbing creativity, of which any group of people is capable. Worship is the highest activity of which all humans are capable. It’s the only thing in which they can lose themselves.Worship is wondrous, providing we remember the ground rules which Jesus laid down in that conversation with a Samaritan woman at the well in Sychar.He said five things which we have been looking at briefly these past five days, and they are:In worship:-
1.The place doesn’t matter: even the greatest of human shrines are irrelevant
2.Some knowledge of God is essential, otherwise you will end up worshipping some image which you have made of yourself
3.Worship is spiritual, which means everything we are is involved, in full commitment
4.Worship must be real – ‘in truth’ – which means that since only God is real, to worship him we have to allow our lives to be real before him
5.Worship is for God, not for us.He does not seek us to do it for what he gets out of it, but for what he can give to us when we are open to him.
There is something else: we grow like what we worship! What, or whom we worship feeds our personalities, so a warning should be attached to every spiritual activity “Beware – what you truly worship you will become “, and that’s not a warning to Christians, but a glorious promise.
Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!How unsearchable his judgements, and his paths beyond tracing out!
For from him and through him and to him are all things.To him be the glory for ever! Amen. (Romans 11:33 and 36)
“Look upon us, O Lord, and let all the darkness of our souls vanish before the beams of thy brightness … (from a prayer of St. Augustine AD 354)
Now read Revelation 22.