A Place of New Beginnings
With our kick-off last week, we rattled a few cages when we made the statement that, “The first foundational truth we all must grasp, is that God is not really seeking worship!” Now I know that statement flies in the face of conventional church dogma, as expressed in the oft quoted phrase, “The Chief end of man is to worship God and enjoy Him forever,” taken from the Anglican Church’s Westminster Shorter Catechism. But in truth, that statement is actually a misquote. The original statement says, “The chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.” The substitution of the word “worship” for the word “glorify” is a subtle, but powerful exchange.
You see the Church of England’s original statement is correct, we were created to “glorify God” and there are a myriad of ways in which we accomplish this assignment. Certainly we glorify God when we worship Him, “in spirit and in truth,” as the scripture instructs. The scripture is filled with examples of God receiving worship from His creation, and makes it clear that our worship belongs to none other than God as well. But is that the only way we glorify God? Certainly not. We glorify God every time we walk in obedience. We glorify God when we choose a path away from sin. We glorify God when we love our neighbour. We glorify God when we invest our talents and abilities. We even glorify God when we give.
The Westminster Catechism also adds that we were created to “enjoy” Him forever! You see the truth is, God had worship before He created humanity. The angels in heaven worshipped the Lord and carried out His bidding. Numerous descriptions of heaven, paint a picture of an eternity filled with angelic beings, who give their worship to God 24/7, and although we will one day join that heavenly chorus, you and I were created for so much more. We were created for relationship. We were created to walk in communion with God. We were created as objects of His love. We were created to enjoy His affections and be able to return them to Him, with a passionate, grateful, awestruck heart.
Is worship important? Of course it is. In fact, when as mere mortals, we grasp how remarkable it is that the Creator of the universe desires intimacy with us, we cannot help but passionately respond with deep love. Worship is really the natural bi-product of living with the affection of God!
And worship is so much more… listen closely this morning, and you’ll understand just what we mean!
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