The Worship Quote of the Week for (01/15/2002):

The Beauty of God
Along with the psalmist (Psalm 27:4), we express our longing to see the
beauty of the Lord and meditate in his temple. Todayís WORSHIP QUOTE looks
into this idea of the beauty of God. The author is Anglican author and
theologian N. T. Wright.


THE BEAUTY OF GOD
I want to speak about worship; and that means I want to talk about God, and
about the beauty of God. If we are to worship God truly, it is not enough to
think of Godís greatness and majesty, his power and sovereignty, his holiness
and absolute otherness. Thatís all enormously important, as part of the
story. But we wouldnít ordinarily use the word "beauty" to refer to any of
that. I want to suggest to you . . . that our ordinary experiences of beauty
are given to us to provide a clue, a starting-point, a signpost, from which
we move on to recognize, to glimpse, to be overwhelmed by, to adore, and so
to worship, not just the majesty, but the beauty of God himself. And, just as
we donít often use the word "worship" in connection with beauty in the natur al world, so we donít very often use the word "beauty" in connection with
God. That is our loss, and I suggest we set about making it good.

ó N. T. Wright, FOR ALL GODíS WORTH: TRUE WORSHIP AND THE CALLING OF THE
CHURCH. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997, p. 6. ISBN 0-8028-4319-0


[In contrast to this, it is interesting that the suffering Christ is
described by the prophet (Isaiah 53:2) as having "no form or majesty that we
should look at him, and NO BEAUTY that we should desire him." I suggest that
this contrast (beauty/no beauty) helps us to understand the radical
humiliation and love of the incarnation (Philippians 2:5-11). Thanks be to
God! Amen!]


Have a great week,

Chip Stam
Director, Institute for Christian Worship
School of Church Music and Worship
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Louisville, Kentucky
www.carlstam.org
www.sbts.edu