Monday, February 4, 2008

True worship begins on Monday

I've been speaking for some time now using a definition of worship as "a response to God's presence in the world". (Reflecting on that now, I probably stole it from Matthew Fox who speaks of prayer as a radical response to life.) There are a number of reasons why I find this definition helpful. Firstly, it frees worship from the bonds of the first day of the week. Why should Sunday have all the good worship? Secondly, it calls us to worship as a broader life response. Worship is far more (though not necessarily less) than singing songs and saying prayers. Finally, it has great scriptural basis. See Isaiah 58:6-7 for example:

Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke,to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin?

Though for me the primary value of this viewpoint is the challenge to our Monday through Saturday existence, it also prompts some interesting questions about what we do with our corporate gathering on Sundays and why we do it.

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