Monday, July 28, 2014

why worship? carrot or stick?

My last Sunday morning on sabbatical was spent with my parents and aunt at Bethlehem Lutheran in Minneapolis yesterday. (Altar and font pictured). One of the lessons read during the service was from Colossians 1, where St. Paul gives his eloquent creedal statement: "[Christ] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers - all things have been created through him and for him.  He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. . ." As I heard that read I suddenly knew with clarity why we worship; it is because all this is true! Christ really is the image of the invisible God. All things in heaven and earth truly were created through him and for him.Truly all things do hold together in him. We worship simply because Christ is who he is, and that makes him worthy of our worship.

This summer I have had more than one conversation with persons who wonder why I worship when I "don't have to be there." They wonder if I do it because I'm afraid of God being angry with me if I don't, or if I do it because I receive some grand gifts that they didn't know about when I worship. In other words, they wonder if it is "the carrot or the stick" that get me to worship every Sunday, even on sabbatical. I'd say now that it's neither.  I worship because of who Christ is. All things hold together in Christ.  All things were created through and for Christ. Without Christ I have no life.  That's why I worship. What would you say?

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