Defining Worship 23

The first step towards forming sound ideals of worship is to get clear as to its essential nature. So we start by asking: what is worship? The history of the word gives us our answer. The noun ‘worship’ is a contraction of ‘worthship’ (Anglo-Saxon, ‘weorthscipe’). Used as a verb, it means ‘to ascribe worth’, or to acknowledge value. To worship God is to make recognition of His ‘worth’, or ‘worthyness’; to look God-ward, and acknowledge in all appropriate ways the value of what you see. The Bible calls this activity ‘glorifying God’, ‘giving glory to God’, and views it as the ultimate end and, from one point of view, the whole duty of man. ‘Give unto the Lord the glory due unto His name’ (Psalms 29:2; 96:6). ‘Whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God’ (1 Corinthians 10:31).

—J.I. Packer, Tomorrow’s Worship, 5

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