A Kingdom of Priests

It is widely recognized that Revelation provides the church with a theology of history, however what is of great importance for our study is that this theology of history is built around the theme of worship. The action of the Son in shedding his blood to free us from our sins (1:5b) was so that we, the redeemed, would be made “a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” (1:6) The goal of redemption is worshipful service.

—Noel Due, Created For Worship: From Genesis to Revelation to You, 221

Leaving Changed?

We leave our places of worship and no deep and inexpressible wonder sits on our faces. We can sing these lilting melodies; and when we get out into the streets our faces are one with the faces of those who have left the theatres and music halls. There is nothing about us to suggest that we’ve been looking at anything stupendous and overwhelming. Far back in my boyhood I remember an old saint telling me that after some services he liked to make his way home alone by quiet bypaths, so that the hush of the Almighty might remain on his awed and prostrated soul. That is the element we are missing.

—J. H. Jowett (1863-1923)

Powerful Preaching

Soren Kierkegaard observes that the true test of a good sermon is not whether people heard it, enjoyed it, and discussed it over their Sunday meal.  Rather, the philosopher points out, the real test may be whether people heard it and found themselves too inspired, too angered, too challenged, or too sick to eat a Sunday meal.

—cited in C. Welton Gaddy, The Gift of Worship, 78

Worship and Work

Worship is not some escape from “the work week.” To the contrary, our worship rituals train our hearts and aim our desires toward God and his kingdom so that, when we are sent from worship to take up our work, we do so with a habituated orientation toward the Lover of our souls.

—James K. A. Smith, You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit, 187