“The First Testament does not assume that human beings in general, or the people of God in particular, know by intuition how to worship, or that they bring to God the best they can devise or the expressions that form in their own hearts. God lays down what counts as proper worship.”
(From John Goldingay’s Israel’s Gospel)
Being married to Doug has caused me to examine questions about worship that I honestly think could have gone unasked in my life experience and leadership for a very long time. More than any Fuller class, my husband has been my teacher in this area of life with God. Reading this quotation last night from John Goldingay reminded me again how for so many of us, we let worship be this thing that is determined by how we feel in a given moment. It is of little surprise, then, that what we call our corporate worship is one of the first places we can see ourselves and our culture reflected more than God himself.
I am ever haunted by certain passages that talk about what makes our worship, our offerings and sacrifices, abominations in the eyes of God. And I am well aware, too, of how far what we do when we gather can move from the hallmarks of “true worship” as determined by how widows and orphans are treated in our midst. I peruse church job listings sometimes, and even the language we use when we describe “worship pastor” positions is remarkable considering the things scripture actually tells us about what we are to do together.