The Worship Quote of the Week for (04/23/2002):

The Greatest Is Worship
Todayís WORSHIP QUOTE is another from the laptop of author N. T. Wright who
is the Canon Theologian at Westminster Cathedral. Even though what follows
is based on a very familiar biblical passage, it is presented not as
Scripture or even as a paraphrase of Scripture, but as instruction in the
nature of true Christian worship. I hope you find it helpful.


THE GREATEST IS WORSHIP
Though we sing with the tongues of men and angels, if we are not truly
worshipping the living God, we are noisy gongs and clanging cymbals. Though
we organize the liturgy most beautifully, if it does not enable us to worship
the living God, we are mere ballet-dancers. Though we repave the floor and
reface the stonework, though we balance our budgets and attract all the
tourists, if we are not worshipping God, we are nothing.

Worship is humble and glad, worship forgets itself in remembering God;
worship celebrates the truth as Godís truth, not its own. True worship
doesnít put on a show or make a fuss; true worship isnít forced, isnít
half-hearted, doesnít keep looking at its watch, doesnít worry what the
person in the next pew may be doing. True worship is open to God, adoring
God, waiting for God, trusting God even in the dark.

Worship will never end; whether there be buildings, they will crumble;
whether there be committees, they will fall asleep; whether there be budgets,
they will add up to nothing. For we build for the present age, we discuss for
the present age, and we pay for the present age; but when the age to come is
here, the present age will be done away. For now we see the beauty of God
through a glass, darkly, but then face to face; now we appreciate only part,
but then we shall affirm and appreciate God, even as the living God has
affirmed and appreciated us. So now our tasks are worship, mission and
management, these three; but the greatest of these is worship.

ó N. T. Wright, FOR ALL GODíS WORTH: TRUE WORSHIP AND THE CALLING OF THE
CHURCH. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997, p. 8-9. ISBN 0-8028-4319-0


[This really made me think. I pray that it will make me a more faithful and
biblical worshiper. For a related quote from John Piper, please take a look
at www.wqotw.org/WQOTW/2000_WQs/WQ09192000.txt]


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