Thursday, January 26, 2012

Loving God with your hands!

As Isaiah stands in the presence of the terrible and awesome God, he overhears the heavenly council discussing a great need: And I heard the voice God saying, whom shall I send and who will go for us? Then I said, here I am, send me.  Isaiah 6:8

There is an outward dimension to worship.

Hebrews 13: 13-15 provides a definition of Christian worship: Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise, the fruit of our lips that confess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. 

Notice the balance: adoration or the sacrifice of praise, and also action, doing good and sharing with others.

Along these lines, Miroslav Volf says: “There is something profoundly hypocritical about praising God for God’s mighty deeds of salvation and cooperating at the same time with the demons of destruction whether by neglecting to do good or by actively doing evil." (
Miroslav Volf: Reflections on a Christian Way of Being-in-the-World, in Worship: Adoration and Action 203-11)

And then Bonhoeffer’s scathing critique of cowardly Lutheran Christians who sided with Hitler: "Only those who help the Jews may sing the Gregorian chant."

Worship is upward, and inward, but we can’t stop here. Without action in the world, the worship of God is empty and hypocritical and degenerates into irresponsible and godless quietism.

Through this week, take one part from Isaiah 6:1-12 and extend it into your week. Maybe you could focus on worshipping God, praising God, meditating on the holiness of God.

Maybe you need to take the inward section of the text and ask God to search your heart and see if there is any rebellion or sin reigning in your heart.

And then for some of us need to respond this week and serve God beyond this church. You might be too inwardly focused and God now wants you to look at people around you and allow the Lord to send you. Take one part and and expand on it. And then share what you have learned with your fellow believers. Amen

Question: How are you engaged in loving God with your hands?