The Worship Quote of the Week for (12/16/2003):

Where Is the Focus?
Where should the main focus be in Christian worship? There are certainly a number of attractive "pretenders" vying for our supreme attention and adoration—great music, wonderful educational programs, historic liturgies, powerful preaching, life-changing social programs, and more. Today’s WORSHIP QUOTE provides a helpful answer to the "focus" question.

Since Christ is the central figure of the new covenant, he is also the central focus of all authentic Christian worship. Christ is both the one whom we worship and the one through whom we worship, by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Christ is also the one whom we memorialize in our worship, or at least we memorialize the events of Christ’s life, which secured our salvation. This is the gospel we proclaim, the message we bring to the nations. So with respect to worship, the question we ask ourselves is this: Do we enjoy a fullness of remembrance of Christ? Do we proclaim the fullness of the gospel as expressed throughout all of the Scripture and in the entirety of Christ’s life?

—Cornelius Plantinga and Sue A. Rozeboom, DISCERNING THE SPIRITS: A GUIDE TO THINKING ABOUT CHRISTIAN WORSHIP TODAY, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2003, p. 154. ISBN 0-8028-3999-1.

[This book is the first in the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship Liturgical Studies Series (John Witvliet, series editor). In addition to the two authors listed, the book includes relevant articles by fifteen pastoral worship leaders. Highly recommended!]

Stay focused, and have a great week,

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

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