Tuesday, July 07, 2009
On Worship, by D. A. Carson
"If the heart of sinfulness is self-centredness, the heart of all biblical religion is God-centredness: in short, it is worship. in our fallenness we constrict all there is to our petty horizons. I think of all relationships in terms of their impact on me; my daydreams circle around my own life and circumstances; my goals and hopes invariably turn on my place in the universe. Such profound self-centredness may result in wild cruelty that the world thinks of as social pathology, or it may result in religious cant; it may issue in war and racism as masses of little people who want to be first exploit and harm others who want the same thing but may lack the means, and it may issue in piety and discipline full of self-satisfaction and fervour. Still the demon SELF marches on. The sign that self is broken is true worship: God becomes the centre, the focus of delight, the joyfully acknowledged King, the Creator, the Redeemer. In this sense, none but the transformed can truly worship — and they too discover how much more transformation is still needed. Thus all worship becomes an eschatological sign, a marker of what will be in the new heaven and the new earth, the home of righteousness, when the children of God have been ‘glorified’ (Rom. 8:30), and God is all in all. In anticipation of that day, and ‘in view of God’s mercy’, we offer our bodies ‘as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God’, for this is our ‘spiritual worship’ (Rom. 12:1)"