Thursday, 22 July 2010
Echo of the future
Soon after moving to London, I remember being urged to re-think my views on Church. The key issue was to avoid calling Church "worship" and to see all of life as a worship event. Amongst many of my friends, I remember a key book being Vaughan Roberts, True Worship which helpfully pointed out that all of life is to be lived God-ward. I embraced this ideology and became an advocate of the "all of life is worship" mantra and eschewed the notion of calling church services "a time of public worship". Over the last few years though, this ideology has been challenged somewhat. Reading through the book of Hebrews or 1 Corinthians for example it is hard to miss the NT's portrayal of our gathering on the Lord's day as a particular time of worship when we focus on the Lord in a way we haven't done all week. This is not to deny that everything we do is an act of worship but rather to recognise as Mike Cosper says, that "worship has TWO contexts—the broad context of all of life (unceasing, living-sacrifice worship) and the narrow context of the gathered church, who gathers to encourage and build one another up, offering a foretaste of what is to come when Christ returns an heaven and earth are joined together. (Jeremy Begbie calls this an "echo of the future," which is one of the coolest phrases in all of Christendom.)" So there, I'm looking forward to our time of worship this Sunday. Hope you are too.