The Worship Quote of the Week for (02/20/2001):

Where's the "Woe Is Me"?
Today's WORSHIP QUOTE is a little lessons in humble access as we approach the
throne of grace. The author is John Stott.

In public worship our habit is to slouch or squat; we do not kneel nowadays,
let alone prostrate ourselves in humility before God. It is more
characteristic of us to clap our hands with joy than to blush with shame or
tears. We saunter up to God to claim his patronage and friendship; it does
not occur to us that he might send us away. We need to hear again the apostle
Peter's sobering words: "Since you call on a Father who judges each man's
work impartially, live your livesx in reverent fear." In other words, if we
dare to call our Judge our Father, we must beware of presuming on him. It
must even be said that our evangelical emphasis on the atonement is dangerous
if we come to it too quickly. We learn to appreciate the access to God which
Christ has won for us only after we have first seen God's inaccessibility to
sinners. We can cry "Hallelujah" with authenticity only after we have first
cried "Woe is me, for I am lost." In Dale's words [R. W. Dale in his book
ATONEMENT], "it is partly because sin does not provoke our own wrath, that we
do not believe that sin provokes the wrath of God."

- John Stott, in THE CROSS OF CHRIST, Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press,
1986, p. 109.

[Fill in the blank: "Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a
__________!" Do we believe that about ourselves? Lord, teach us about the
severity of our sin, the depth of your love, and the extent of your mercy to
us in Christ; that we may cling, now and always, to your amazing grace. AMEN!]

Have a great week,

Chip Stam
Director, Institute for Christian Worship
School of Church Music and Worship
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Louisville, Kentucky