The Worship Quote of the Week for (04/24/2001):

What About Jacuzzi Worship?
Today's WORSHIP QUOTE comes from the pen of J. I. Packer, author of KNOWING
GOD and a host of other great books and articles on a biblical understanding
of the Christian life.

Worship-in the sense of telling God his worth by speech and song and
celebrating his worth in his presence by proclamation and meditation-has been
largely replaced, at least in the West, by a form of entertainment calculated
to give worshippers the equivalent of a sauna or Jacuzzi experience and send
them away feeling relaxed and tuned up at the same time. Certainly true
worship invigorates, but to plan invigoration is not necessarily to order
worship. As all that glitters is not gold, so all that makes us feel happy
and strong is not worship. The question is not whether a particular
liturgical form is used, but whether a God-centered as distinct from
man-centered perspective is maintained-whether, in other words, the sense
that man exists for God rather than God for man is cherished or lost. We need
to discover all over again that worship is natural to the Christian, as it
was to the godly Israelites who wrote the psalms, and that the habit of
celebrating the greatness and graciousness of God yields an endless flow of
thankfulness, joy, and zeal.

Neither stylized charismatic exuberance nor Anglican Prayer Book correctness
nor conventional music-sandwich Sunday-morning programs provide any magic
formula for this rediscovery. It can occur only when the Holy Spirit is taken
seriously as the One who through the written word of Scripture shows us the
love and glory of the Son and the Father and draws into personal communion
with both.

WRITINGS OF J. I. PACKER, Volume 1, Carlisle, England: Paternoster
Publishing, 1998, p. 207. ISBN: 0853648964

Have a great week,

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