Creation and the Grammar of Worship
CREATION AND THE GRAMMAR OF WORSHIP
Grammar is that which gives coherence to our language. It is the unspoken paradigm by which sentences are written and conversations held. Ungrammatical statements stand out and declare themselves as being foreign to the structure of the language. They exist, but they do not belong. They have no authentic being. In a similar way, I suggest, the creation has a “grammar” of worship. This grammar is found in the eternal Triune relationships of the Godhead. It is the grammar of communion, of mutuality, of self-giving, voluntary glorification of the other. It is always doing, being and saying “for the other,” not “for the self.” This is the essence of AGAPE, the holy love of God, the revelation of which in history is the manifestation of God’s glory. We have been made by the Triune God to reflect his internal self-giving love, and to participate in the action of honoring him above all things. After all, God is more interested in seeing that his name is honored in the universe than we are! And as we, his creatures, share in this God-glorifying life, so we find our home. We live authentic lives, ones that share in the proper grammar of the language of the universe.
The point is this: God did not create because in some sense he needed to be worshiped, but the parameters of worship (the constitutive elements of it) belong to his own being as God. His acts of creation open up the possibility that his creatures may know the ineffable joy and eternal riches of such elements. To put the matter differently, God is to be worshipped, not simply because he demands to be, but because this is the proper destiny of his creation. Anything less dishonors him and disfigures it.
— Noel Due, from CREATED FOR WORSHIP: FROM GENESIS TO REVELATION TO YOU, Scotland: Mentor Imprints, 2005, p. 39. ISBN 1-84550-026-1 (christianfocus.com)
[Remember that there are hundreds of WORSHIP QUOTES at the quote index found at www.wqotw.org.]
Have a great week,
Director, Institute for Christian Worship
School of Church Music and Worship
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
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