When Christians accept a consumerist culture’s definition at face value, they look to the church primarily to provide them with the means to improve their private lives, enhance their self-esteem, give them a sense of purpose. Worship becomes a form of therapy whose sole aim is to improve the emotional state of the individuals, and to energize them for the week ahead. It is designed principally to make those individuals feel comfortable, and to justify the style of life they find most satisfying.
—James V. Brownson, Inagrace T. Dietterich, Barry A. Harvey, Charles C. West, StormFront: The Good News of God, 7
So it may be said that the chief purpose of life, for any one of us, is to increase according to our capacity our knowledge of God by all the means we have, and to be moved by it to praise and thanks. And to do as we say in the GLORIA IN EXCELSIS: Laudamus te, benedicimus te, adoramus te, glorificamus te, gratias agimus tibi propter magnum gloriam tuam. We praise you, we call you holy, we worship you, we proclaim your glory, we thank you for the greatness of your splendour.
—J.R.R. Tolkien, quoted in Joseph Pearce, Tolkien: Man and Myth, 211-12
The whole creation depends on food. But the unique position of man in the universe is that he alone is to bless God for the food and the life he receives from Him. He alone is to respond to God’s blessing with his blessing.
—Alexander Schmemann, For the Life of the World, 14-15
Of all the creatures both in sea and land
Only to Man Thou hast made known Thy ways,
And put the pen alone into his hand,
And made him Secretary of Thy praise.
–George Herbert (1593-1633), “Providence”
Corporate worship: “Weekly practice at not being God.”
–Michael Lindvall, quoted by Nathan Bierma in “Worshipful Service”