Friday, August 1, 2008

coalescence of worship

I was captivated by the following words from Ravi Zacharias. To access this original article, go to his ministry website here.

One of the great longings of the human heart is to worship; yet, within that very disposition there are tugs in many directions that contradict the essence of worship. This fragmentation is felt in every life. But there is a further complication. The idea of worship itself is not monolithic or uniform when you get a glimpse of the different kinds of worship in which people engage.

The thirst for worship or for the sacred across cultures and across time is ineradicable among the educated and the uneducated, the young and the old. During my days as a student at college in New Delhi, I well remember students seated around me with colored ash smeared on their foreheads, having visited the temple on their way to school. All over the world, churches, temples, mosques, and tabernacles abound. Sacred books still line the shelves of seekers after truth—the Gita, the Koran, the Bible. Religious ceremonies are performed and prayers are invoked in life’s most significant moments. Even a casual look at the record of human history reveals a fervent pursuit of spiritual things.

Jesus was very much aware of this bent within the human spirit. That is why He said worship should be done in truth, as well as in spirit. Without truth there is no limit to the superstition, deception, and sadly, even violence that can come in the name of religion. You see, worship alone cannot justify itself; it needs the constraints of truth, and that truth is the person and character of God. As an individual makes a commitment to God, not only is his or her life unified for God’s glory, but the impetus of truth is given for all other pursuits and relationships.

In other words, worship must not only be formal, it must also be substantive. You see, we humans are not a collection of isolated and unrelated senses just seeking expression. We are fashioned to bind these expressions by the character and reverence of God.

So much goes on in the name of religion today that must make us question whose character is being revealed in the process.

Worship that is true and spiritual binds all the diverse aspirations and propensities creating a tapestry of beauty and a life that is in harmony with the goodness and the holiness of God. So next time you pause to worship or even to observe it, ask the question: Is this what Jesus Christ meant when He said we are to worship God in spirit and in Truth?

No comments: