Friday, February 22, 2008

"This is the feast of victory for our God. Alleluia!"

"I conclude from this meditation on the nature of worship that the revolt against hedonism has killed the spirit of worship in many churches and many hearts. The widespread notion that high moral acts must be free from self-interest is a great enemy of true worship. Worship is the highest moral act a human can perform; so the only basis and motivation for it that many people can conceive is the notion of morality as the disinterested performance of duty. But when worship is reduced to disinterested duty, it ceases to be worship. For worship is a feast." --John Piper, Desiring God
(The title of the post comes from a hymn that is part of the Lutheran worship service.)

1 comment:

Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

How interesting.

A Jewish service would probably look disorganized to those more used to "high" church or even plain services. The melodies chanted for certain prayers do change with the season, but otherwise there is a standard melody (nusach) for weekday, for Shabbat, for morning, and for evening. People tend to 'wander' off on their own (figuratively) and are called back together at certain points by the cantor.
Often, when praying the weekday morning service, I find myself doing it by rote, but then some word or phrase from the prayerbook will leap out at me in a totally new way, bringing me new insight or understanding.

Shabbat, though, has a different rhythm and cadence, and I know it is a different day. But it still not formal, but has a joyful tone that is different than the weekday.

But if worship is a feast for us, then it represents the homely and familiar meal, so that I often think of myself as leaning into the prayer, ""like a weaned child at rest on the mother's knee," as it says in the Songs of Ascent.

Finally, the quote reminds me of something my mother-of-the-heart used to say: "If you do not enjoy what is there to enjoy, G-d will be disappointed with you."

Interesting. Thanks for the quote. It was good to think about this today.

Related Posts with Thumbnails