Monday, February 7, 2011

Trinitarian Worship

Brian Edgar makes the following points in his book The Message of the Trinity.

A common attitude is that worship is best understood simply as something that people do for God. When understood in that way the responsibility of worshippers is to offer praise, thanksgiving, prayers and the thoughts and desires of one's heart to God in gratitude for his grace. Worship is, therefore, what we do before God. But this is insufficiently Trinitarian and is even human-centred to the point that worship becomes a work rather than a grace. It is unitarian because pastor, worship-leader and people are on one side, offering worship to God who is on the other side, hearing the prayer and receiving the worship.

Trinitarian worship is the gift of participating through the Spirit in the Incarnate Son’s communion with the Father. Trinitarian worship is fellowship (or participating or sharing) in the life of God. The Trinity provides a participatory understanding of worship and prayer. Worship therefore, is properly centred upon God not only as the object of worship but also as the leader and the inspirer of worship.

This takes nothing away from the act of offering praise and thanksgiving, but rather than focusing on what we can do for God the emphasis falls on the work of Christ and the life of the blessed Trinity. That is, on the Son who takes us into the Father’s presence through his sacrifice and intercession and on the Spirit who is the enabler and the inspiration of worship. In this way worship becomes an act of grace, rather than a work that we do.

And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!” Galatians 4.6

1 comment:

  1. hey shane! great thoughts. reminded me of something i posted a few months back on the place of the Holy Spirit in our prayer. let me know your thoughts. peace!