This week I posted a brief review of N.T. Wright’s latest release, titled Simply Jesus. In the concluding chapter of the book Wright made one of the best statements on worship that I’ve read in a long time. Check this out:
“All kingdom work is rooted in worship. Or, to put it the other way around, worshipping the God we see at work in Jesus is the most politically charged act we can ever perform. Christian worship declares that Jesus is Lord and that therefore, by strong implication, nobody else is. What’s more, it doesn’t just declare it as something to be believed, like the fact that the sun is hot or the sea wet. It commits the worshipper to allegiance, to following this Jesus, to being shaped and directed by him. Worshipping the God we see in Jesus orients our whole being, our imagination, our will, our hopes, and our fears away from the world where Mars, Mammon, and Aphrodite (violence, money, and sex) make absolute demands and punish anyone who resists. It orients us instead to a world in which love is stronger than death, the poor are promised the kingdom. and chastity (whether married or single) reflects the holiness and faithfulness of God himself. Acclaiming Jesus as Lord plants a flag that supersedes the flags of the nations, however ‘free’ or ‘democratic’ they may be. It challenges both the tyrants who think they are, in effect, divine and the ‘secular democracies’ that have effectively become, if not divine and at least ecclesial, that is, communities that are trying to do and be what the church is supposed to do and be, but without recourse to the one who sustains the church’s life. Worship creates–or should create, if it is allowed to be truly itself–a community that marches to a different beat, that keeps in step with a different Lord.”
What do you think of Wright’s words on worship? How do his words on worship compare or contrast with your weekly experience of corporate worship?