The Worship Quote of the Week for (01/28/1997):

Myth of Wholeness
Today's WORSHIP QUOTE is a follow-up on last week's (Remember: "God is most
glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him." John Piper).

[editor's note: This one is a little longer than usual. Please read with
caution. I had to read it a few times. It made me mad the first time.]

Hope arises out of the hard truth of how things are. Christians will
always live carrying in one hand the promise of how it will be and in the
other the hard reality of how it is. To deny either is to hold only half of
the gospel. . . .

What we find in the scripture is the incredible promise that God has
broken into our brokenness to find us there. There is no promise that, having
found us, he will paste our fractured lives back together.

This doesn't mean that all of life doesn't have to be brought under
the healing of God. It does. But God's healing doesn't fit exactly with our
yearnings to have the pain taken away. As a church member with cancer once
told me, "There is a big difference between healing and avoiding death."
God's healing has more to do with learning to worship than it does with
getting life fixed. What God is eager to heal is the sickness of the soul and
the blindness of the heart that takes us down a painful road away from his
love. Worship is the means by which our eyes are opened.

In worshiping God we realize we were never created to be whole. God
will not restore what we were never intended to have. What we were created to
enjoy is fellowship with God, who alone is whole and complete.

Nowhere in the Bible are we told that God wants to give us wholeness.
What God wants to give us is himself. If we really believed that, it would be
enough. In fact, it would be more than enough. It would overwhelm us.

The effect of our fascination with wholeness is that it embarks us on
a journey for which there is no end, a journey that takes us further away
from God. He invites us to journey in a different direction.

Chapter 1 "Telling the Truth," InterVarsity Press, 1991. Dr. Barnes is the
Senior Minister of National Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C.

Have a great week,
Chip Stam