During our last session we examined the final two portions of our 6 core essentials. The biggest challenge in this conversation was de-fragmenting our definition of Worship and Truth. Because this is a Church conversation our default often binds these two words (Worship and Truth) into a Sunday morning experience.
In order to escape this default we looked closely at portions of the essentials listed on the website. These portions are listed in bold below.
Worship:Since the gospel frees us from a guilty conscience and from believing lies about God, we are able to enjoy God and worship him freely. It is only in God Centered worship that we are delivered from the bondage of the self-centered life, and such a God Centered life is the doorway into the joy and purpose he designed us to experience
The most obvious fact about praise— whether of God or anything—strangely escaped me. I had never noticed that all enjoyment spontaneously overflows into praise… The world rings with praise—lovers praising their mistresses, readers their favourite poet, walkers praising the countryside, players praising their favourite game – praise of weather, wines, dishes, actors, motors, horses, colleges, countries, historical personages, children, flowers, mountains, rare stamps, rare beetles, even sometimes politicians or scholars. I had not noticed either that just as men spontaneously praise whatever they value, so they spontaneously urge us to join them in praising it: “Isn’t she lovely? Wasn’t it glorious? Don’t you think that magnificent?” I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation.C. S. Lewis Reflections on the Psalms
Truth:Since God has chosen to bring the gospel to us through Word and Spirit, we teach the whole Bible to the whole person through the power of the Spirit.
How does the above portion in bold reorient the purpose of our Salvation? In short, we must not allow “worship and Truth” to be confined to Sunday Morning. Our Salvation yields fruit everywhere we Live Work and Play.
The following quote connects the short gaps between, beauty, knowledge, wonder, and our ability to love
“Beauty is the word that shall be our first. Beauty is the last thing which the thinking intellect dares to approach, since only it dances as an uncontained splendor around the double constellation of the true and the good and their inseparable relation to one another. Beauty is the disinterested one, without which the ancient world refused to understand itself, a word which both imperceptibly and yet unmistakably has bid farewell to our new world, a world of interests, leaving it to its own avarice and sadness. No longer loved or fostered by religion, beauty is lifted from its face as a mask, and its absence exposes features on that face which threaten to become incomprehensible to man. We no longer dare to believe in beauty and we make of it a mere appearance in order the more easily to dispose of it. Our situation today shows that beauty demands for itself at least as much courage and decision as do truth and goodness, and she will not allow herself to be separated and banned from her two sisters without taking them along with herself in an act of mysterious vengeance. We can be sure that whoever sneers at her name as if she were the ornament of a bourgeois past — whether he admits it or not — can no longer pray and soon will no longer be able to love.”Hans Urs von Balthasar
Colossians 1 15-20 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his
Knowledge leads to service, And Service helps us Love.