Sunday, November 3, 2013

Christian Worship | The Worship Instinct

"Worship may be regarded as an instinct. It is the result of man's natural endowments and of his surroundings. It is not the invention of priestcraft or the product of material evolution. Man has a spiritual nature; that is the power to conceive of a Deity and a supernatural world, and the capacity to adore, love, and trust.

In the course of his mental development these powers start spontaneously into action. By several different paths the mind is led to the idea of God. Behind the mutable objects of nature, the understanding seeks and finds an unchanging ground; and in the presence of obvious design, it recognizes an intelligent Creator.

Conscious of its weakness in the midst of mighty and mysterious forces, the heart seeks refuge and rest in an over-ruling and loving Father.

The feeling for beauty and sublimity, for truth and righteousness, finds satisfaction in the perfections of God. The imperfections of this world--its inequalities, sufferings, and failures--show that it is not complete in itself, and hence lead to the conception of another and higher life, in which justice, happiness, and perfection alone prevail.

With the idea of God and a future life in the soul, worship is inevitable. It naturally springs out of the relation between creature and Creator. In the words of Richter, 'Without God the human soul is lonely throughout eternity; but if it has God, then it is united more warmly, more intimately, more steadfastly, than by friendship and love. I am then no longer alone with my soul. Its great first Friend, and Everlasting whom it recognizes, the innate Friend of the innermost spirit, will no more abandon us than we will abandon ourselves; and in the midst of the impure or empty turmoil of trifles and sins, on the market-place and the battle-field, I stand with closed breast, in which the Supreme and All-holy One speaks to me, and reposes before me like a near sun, behind which the outer world lies in darkness' (p.9-10)."

Christian Worship: Its Principles and Forms by Richard and Painter.


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