Worship The Lord Quotes

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You never go away from us, yet we have difficulty in returning to You. Come, Lord, stir us up and call us back. Kindle and seize us. Be our fire and our sweetness. Let us love. Let us run.
Augustine of Hippo (Confessions)
I have learned that in every circumstance that comes my way, I can choose to respond in one of two ways: I can whine or I can worship! And I can't worship without giving thanks. It just isn't possible. When we choose the pathway of worship and giving thanks, especially in the midst of difficult circumstances, there is a fragrance, a radiance, that issues forth out of our lives to bless the Lord and others.
Nancy Leigh DeMoss (Choosing Gratitude: Your Journey to Joy)
You must worship the Self in Krishna, not Krishna as Krishna.
Swami Vivekananda
The faery lords are immortal. Those who have songs ballads and stories written about them never die. Belief worship imagination we were born of the dreams and fears of mortals and if we are remembered even in some small way we will always exist.
Julie Kagawa (The Iron King (The Iron Fey, #1))
We are like the moon. The moon shines anyway, but it does not produce its own light. It reflects the light illuminated onto its surface by the Sun and is never proud to say "I am the source of light". God shines through us, hence He deserves the glory; not us.
Israelmore Ayivor
Suffering in the path of Christian obedience, with joy - because the steadfast love of the Lord is better than life (Psalm 63:3) - is the clearest display of the worth of God in our lives. Therefore, faith-filled suffering is essential in this world for the most intense, authentic worship. When we are most satisfied with God in suffering, he will be most glorified in us in worship. Our problem is not styles of music. Our problem is styles of life. When we embrace more affliction for the worth of Christ, there will be more fruit in the worship of Christ.
John Piper (Tested by Fire : The Fruit of Affliction in the Lives of John Bunyan, William Cowper and David Brainerd)
In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful. All the praises and thanks be to Allah, the Lord of the 'Alamin (mankind, jinns and all that exists). The Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful. The Only Owner of the Day of Recompense (i.e. the Day of Resurrection) You (Alone) we worship, and You (Alone) we ask for help. Guide us to the Straight Way... The Way of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace, not (the way) of those who earned Your Anger, nor of those who went astray. (The Qur'an- Surah Al-Fatihah)
Anonymous (القرآن الكريم)
Solitude is the furnace of transformation. Without solitude we remain victims of our society and continue to be entangled in the illusions of the false self. Jesus himself entered into this furnace. There he was tempted with the three compulsions of the world: to be relevant ('turn stones into loaves'), to be spectacular ('throw yourself down'), and to be powerful ('I will give you all these kingdoms'). There he affirmed God as the only source of his identity ('You must worship the Lord your God and serve him alone'). Solitude is the place of the great struggle and the great encounter - the struggle against the compulsions of the false self, and the encounter with the loving God who offers himself as the substance of the new self.
Henri J.M. Nouwen (The Way of the Heart: The Spirituality of the Desert Fathers and Mothers)
God does not need our worship. We worship to enlarge our sense of holy, so that we can feel and know the presense of the Lord, who is with us always. He said, Love is what it amounts to, a loftier love, and pleasure in a loving presence.
Marilynne Robinson (Home (Gilead, #2))
Can we expect the flames of our worship of God to burn brightly in public on the Lord’s Day when they barely flicker for Him in secret on other days?
Donald S. Whitney (Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life)
Look, the insidious thing about these forms of worship is not that they're evil or sinful; it is that they are unconscious. They are default-settings. They're the kind of worship you just gradually slip into, day after day, getting more and more selective about what you see and how you measure value without ever being fully aware that that's what you're doing. And the world will not discourage you from operating on your default-settings, because the world of men and money and power hums along quite nicely on the fuel of fear and contempt and frustration and craving and the worship of self. Our own present culture has harnessed these forces in ways that have yielded extraordinary wealth and comfort and personal freedom. The freedom to be lords of our own tiny skull-sized kingdoms, alone at the center of all creation. This kind of freedom has much to recommend it. But of course there are all different kinds of freedom, and the kind that is most precious you will not hear much talked about in the great outside world of winning and achieving and displaying. The really important kind of freedom involves attention, and awareness, and discipline, and effort, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty little unsexy ways, every day. That is real freedom. The alternative is unconsciousness, the default-setting, the “rat race” — the constant gnawing sense of having had and lost some infinite thing.
David Foster Wallace (This Is Water: Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life)
Oh, Lord, forgive three sins that are due to my human limitations. Thou art Everywhere, but I worship thee here: Thou art without form, but I worship thee in these forms; Thou needest no praise, yet I offer thee these prayers and salutations. Lord, forgive three sins that are due to my human limitations." - Ash
M.M. Kaye
True worship leaders worship the Lord at all times and use songs only when necessary.
Gangai Victor (The Worship Kenbook)
Would it be worth it to pick up my cross and be crucified next to Jesus? If He is not God, then, no. Lose everything I love to worship a false God? A million times over, no! But if He is God, then yes. Being forever bonded to my Lord by suffering alongside Him? A million times over, yes!
Nabeel Qureshi (Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity)
I want to grow old with you. I want your face to be the first thing I see in the morning and the last thing I see at night. I want to feel my children growing inside you. Sarah, my love. I want to worship the Lord with you, and hear your laughter until the day I die.
Tessa Afshar (Harvest of Gold (Harvest of Rubies, #2))
Jesus of Nazareth always comes asking disciples to follow him--not merely "accept him," not merely "believe in him," not merely "worship him," but to follow him: one either follows Christ, or one does not. There is no compartmentalization of the faith, no realm, no sphere, no business, no politic in which the lordship of Christ will be excluded. We either make him Lord of all lords, or we deny him as Lord of any.
Lee C. Camp (Mere Discipleship: Radical Christianity in a Rebellious World)
She suddenly saw Wimsey in a new light. She knew him to be intelligent, clean, courteous, wealthy, well-read, amusing and enamored, but he had not so far produced in her that crushing sense of inferiority which leads to prostration and hero-worship. But she now realized that there was, after all, something godlike about him. He could control a horse.
Dorothy L. Sayers (Have His Carcase (Lord Peter Wimsey, #7))
I might not be a good singer but I will praise and worship God with all my heart. I might not be the best dancer but I will dance for the Lord all the days of my life.
Euginia Herlihy
And now at last it comes. You will give me the Ring freely! In place of the Dark Lord you will set up a Queen. And I shall not be dark, but beautiful and terrible as the Morning and the Night! Fair as the Sea and the Sun and the Snow upon the Mountain! Dreadful as the Storm and the Lightning! Stronger than the foundations of the earth. All shall love me and despair!” She lifted up her hand and from the ring that she wore there issued a great light that illuminated her alone and left all else dark. She stood before Frodo seeming now tall beyond measurement, and beautiful beyond enduring, terrible and worshipful. Then she let her hand fall, and the light faded, and suddenly she laughed again, and lo! she was shrunken; a slender Elf woman, clad in simple white, whose gentle voice was soft and sad.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings)
I am no Christian. These days it does no good to confess that, for the bishops and abbots have too much influence and it is easier to pretend to a faith than to fight angry ideas. I was raised a Christian, but at ten years old, when I was taken into Ragnar’s family, I discovered the old Saxon gods who were also the gods of the Danes and of the Norsemen, and their worship has always made more sense to me than bowing down to a god who belongs to a country so far away that I have met no one who has ever been there. Thor and Odin walked our hills, slept in our valleys, loved our women and drank from our streams, and that makes them seem like neighbours. The other thing I like about our gods is that they are not obsessed with us. They have their own squabbles and love affairs and seem to ignore us much of the time, but the Christian god has nothing better to do than to make rules for us. He makes rules, more rules, prohibitions and commandments, and he needs hundreds of black-robed priests and monks to make sure we obey those laws. He strikes me as a very grumpy god, that one, even though his priests are forever claiming that he loves us. I have never been so stupid as to think that Thor or Odin or Hoder loved me, though I hope at times they have thought me worthy of them.
Bernard Cornwell (Lords of the North (The Saxon Stories, #3))
Afflictions quicken us to prayer. It is a pity it should be so; but experience testifies, that a long course of ease and prosperity, without painful changes—has an unhappy tendency to make us cold and formal in our secret worship. But troubles rouse our spirits, and constrain us to call upon the Lord in good earnest—when we feel a need of that help which we only can have from his almighty arm. Afflictions are useful, and in a degree necessary, to keep alive in us—a conviction of the vanity and unsatisfying nature of the present world, and all its enjoyments; to remind us that this world is not our rest, and to call our thoughts upwards, where our true treasure is, and where our heart ought to be. When things go on much to our wish, our hearts are too prone to say, "It is good to be here!
John Newton (The Letters of John Newton)
Oh thrice fools are we who like new-born princes weeping in the cradle know not that there is a kingdom before them then let our Lord's sweet hand square us and hammer us and strike off the knots of pride self-love and world-worship and infidelity that He may make us stones and pillars in His Father's house.
Samuel Rutherford
People worship power in the form in which they are able to understand it. A twelve-year-old boy worships Jack Dempsey. An adolescent in a Glasgow slum worships Al Capone. An aspiring pupil at a business college worships Lord Nuffield. A New Statesman reader worships Stalin. There is a difference in intellectual maturity, but none in moral outlook.
George Orwell (All Art Is Propaganda: Critical Essays)
You worship death. You and all the One Gods. They seduce mankind with their promises of glory attained in the hereafter, thus blinding men to the splendor before them here on earth. One can never expect to achieve enlightenment if one does not first live life to its fullest.
Brom (Krampus: The Yule Lord)
I have known kings and criminals. I prefer criminals. They cheat, steal and betray, but at least you don't have to worship them while they do it.
Lynda S. Robinson (Eater of Souls (Lord Meren, #4))
Leading worship is about a heart that craves to magnify the Lord!
Gangai Victor (The Worship Kenbook)
Those who in the name of Faith embrace illusion, kill and are killed. Even the atheist gets God's blessings- Does not boast of his religion; With reverence he lights the lamp of Reason And pays his homage not to scriptures, But to the good in man. The bigot insults his own religion When he slays a man of another faith. Conduct he judges not in the light of Reason; In the temple he raises the blood-stained banner And worships the devil in the name of God. All that is shameful and barbarous through the Ages, Has found a shelter in their temples- Those they turn into prisons; O, I hear the trumpet call of Destruction! Time comes with her great broom Sweeping all refuse away. That which should make man free, They turn into fetters; That which should unite, They turn into sword; That which should bring love From the fountain of the Eternal, They turn into prison And with its waves they flood the world. They try to cross the river In a bark riddled with holes; And yet, in their anguish, whom do they blame? O Lord, breaking false religion, Save the blind! Break! O break The alter that is drowned in blood. Let your thunder strike Into the prison of false religion, And bring to this unhappy land The light of Knowledge.
Rabindranath Tagore
Do you want to become a true messenger of the Lord with fire burning in your bones? Then have the Man of fire dwelling in your heart. Abandon any attempts to build your own kingdom or ministry. Forget about building your own empire; build His instead. Worship God passionately. Consecrate yourself to Him to be His holy dwelling place.
James W. Goll (The Lifestyle of a Prophet: A 21-Day Journey to Embracing Your Calling)
If you wonder why you choose to worship other gods rather than wholeheartedly devote yourself to the Lord you love, examine the thought and desires that captivate your heart. That’s where you’ll fin the answer to every sin and failure in your life. Don’t be deceived into thinking that you need to develop more willpower. We need to develop godly thoughts and desires.
Elyse M. Fitzpatrick (Idols of the Heart: Learning to Long for God Alone)
Catholicism From my perspective as a former follower of Santeria (which is the worship of saints), Catholicism is the worship of the saints, which are idols, and the worship of Mary. How is it that you can confess your sins to man and your sins are forgiven, or pray to statues and they take your prayers to the Lord? How is it that saying three Hail Mary’s and three Our Father’s forgives our sins? How is it that praying the rosary gets you closer to God? What is this place called Purgatory, as the Scripture says in 2 Corinthians 5:8: “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” As well, Jesus told the thief on the Cross, in Luke 23:43: “I assure you, today you will be with me in Paradise” (NLT). Jesus said Paradise, not Purgatory.
John Ramirez (Unmasking the Devil: Strategies to Defeat Eternity's Greatest Enemy)
I don't worship God may be because I am not afraid of him.. yes.. I find lord Shiva a man.. man worth exploring.. mad.. with all emotions at extreme level.. full of anger yet calm.. always high.. and above all.. he is hot!!!
Himmilicious
The worship leader's job is to help bring others in the congregation to place of submission through worship.
R.L. Evans "Mikhtam Maestro" (Magnify the Lord: Understanding the Dynamics of Worship and Praise)
My prayer for you: Know the Lord in greater depth. Abide in the presence of God. Live under the shelter of most High,God. Remain under the shadow of God’s grace in Jesus Name.Amen.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
Consistent, father-led family worship is one of the best, steadiest, and most easily measurable ways to bring up children in the Lord’s “discipline and instruction.
Donald S. Whitney (Family Worship)
...Don't ever worry bout bein holy, babychild. Just keep your eyes wide open except when you sleep. Then let the Lord's mighty vision see you through the night.
Rebecca Wells (Little Altars Everywhere)
Above all sing spiritually. Have an eye to God in every word you sing. Aim at pleasing Him more than yourself, or any other creature. In order to do this attend strictly to the sense of what you sing, and see that your heart is not carried away with the sound, but offered to God continually; so shall your singing be such as the Lord will approve here, and reward you when he cometh in the clouds of heaven.
John Wesley
Worship gatherings are not always spectacular, but they are always supernatural. And if a church looks for or works for the spectacular, she may miss the supernatural. If a person enters a gathering to be wowed with something impressive, with a style that fits him just right, with an order of service and song selection designed just the right way, that person may miss the supernatural presence of God. Worship is supernatural whenever people come hungry to respond, react, and receive from God for who He is and what He has done. A church worshipping as a Creature of the Word doesn't show up to perform or be entertained; she comes desperate and needy, thirsty for grace, receiving from the Lord and the body of Christ, and then gratefully receiving what she needs as she offers her praise-the only proper response to the God who saves us.
Matt Chandler (Creature of the Word: The Jesus-Centered Church)
Tell me what a man does in the matter of Bible-reading and praying, in the matter of Sunday, public worship, and the Lord's Supper, and I will soon tell you what he is, and on which road he is travelling.
J.C. Ryle (Practical Religion Being Plain Papers on the Daily Duties, Experience, Dangers, and Privileges of Professing Christians)
Rationality is not unnecessary. It serves the chaos of knowledge. It serves feeling. It serves to get from this place to that place. But if you don't honor those places, then the road is meaningless. Too often, that's what happens with the worship of rationality and that circular, academic, analytic thinking. But ultimately, I don't see feel/think as a dichotomy. I see them as a choice of ways and combinations.
Audre Lorde (Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches)
Unlike other human religions, they worshipped something that truly existed. Also unlike other human religions, it was the Lord who was in crisis, and the duty of salvation fell on the shoulders of the believer.
Liu Cixin (The Three-Body Problem (Remembrance of Earth’s Past, #1))
We believe that worship is far more than prayer and preaching and gospel performance. The supreme act of worship is to keep the commandments, to follow in the footsteps of the Son of God, to do ever those things that please Him. It is one thing to give lip service to the Lord; it is quite another to respect and honor His will by following the example He has set for us.
Joseph Fielding Smith
The Bible does not say money is the root of all evil; it says the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. A poor man who, in his heart, worships the idea of being rich is more vulnerable to its evils than a rich man who has a heart to use it all for the Lord.
Criss Jami (Healology)
Harriet was silent. She suddenly saw Wimsey in a new light. She knew him to be intelligent, clean, courteous, wealthy, well-read, amusing and enamoured, but he had not so far produced in her that crushing sense of utter inferiority which leads to prostration and hero-worship. But she now realised that there was, after all, something god-like about him. He could control a horse.
Dorothy L. Sayers (Have His Carcase (Lord Peter Wimsey, #7))
Don't compare yourself to other Christians. Compare yourself to Christ. He is the one you follow. He is the one other Christians too follow".
Israelmore Ayivor (The Great Hand Book of Quotes)
Cause every task of your day to be a sacred ministry to the Lord. however mundane your duties, for you they are a sacrament.
Richard J. Foster (Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth)
If it will give you any satisfaction in the end, I still care for you. Either there is no such thing as love, or the word does not mean what I have thought it to mean on many different occasions. It is a feeling without a name, really—better to leave it at that. So take it and go away and have your fun with it. You know that we would both be at one another's throats again one day, as soon as we run out of common enemies. We had many fine reconciliations, but were they ever worth the pain that preceded them? Know that you have won and that you are the goddess I worship—for are not worship and religious awe a combination of love and hate, desire and fear?
Roger Zelazny (Lord of Light)
If a person hears about, glorifies, meditates upon, worships or simply offers great respect to the Supreme Lord, who is situated within the heart, the Lord will remove from his mind the contamination accumulated during many thousands of lifetimes.
A.C. Prabhupāda (Srimad-Bhagavatam, Twelfth Canto)
When the mind, for want of being sufficiently reduced by recollection at our first engaging in devotion, has contracted certain bad habits of wandering and dissipation, they are difficult to overcome, and commonly draw us, even against our wills, to the things of the earth. I believe one remedy for this is to confess our faults, and to humble ourselves before God. I do not advise you to use multiplicity of words in prayer: many words and long discourses being often the occasions of wandering. Hold yourself in prayer before God, like a dumb or paralytic beggar at a rich man's gate. Let it be your business to keep your mind in the presence of the Lord. If it sometimes wander and withdraw itself from Him, do not much disquiet yourself for that: trouble and disquiet serve rather to distract the mind than to re-collect it: the will must bring it back in tranquility. If you persevere in this manner, God will have pity on you.
Brother Lawrence (The Practice of the Presence of God)
Religions that began worshipping a single male ‘God’ were an Archontic construct holographically inserted into history in order to separate humanity from its spiritual roots in the earth.
Sol Luckman (Cali the Destroyer)
Believe me, once you have tasted worship—the kind of worship that captures your heart and rivets your full attention on the living Lord—nothing less satisfies. Nothing else even comes close. Once you have tasted true worship, you will never want to play church again.
Charles R. Swindoll (Rise and Shine: A Wake-Up Call)
We don’t just show up on stage; we bring along the oil of praise in jars of practice and rehearsal so that when the Lord shows up, our worship shines as the light with which His Church shall welcome Him!
Gangai Victor (The Worship Kenbook)
William Shakespeare (baptised 26 April 1564 – died 23 April 1616) was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon" (or simply "The Bard"). His surviving works consist of 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been translated into every major living language, and are performed more often than those of any other playwright. Shakespeare was born and raised in Stratford-upon-Avon. At the age of 18 he married Anne Hathaway, who bore him three children: Susanna, and twins Hamnet and Judith. Between 1585 and 1592 he began a successful career in London as an actor, writer, and part owner of the playing company the Lord Chamberlain's Men, later known as the King's Men. He appears to have retired to Stratford around 1613, where he died three years later. Few records of Shakespeare's private life survive, and there has been considerable speculation about such matters as his sexuality, religious beliefs, and whether the works attributed to him were written by others. Shakespeare produced most of his known work between 1590 and 1613. His early plays were mainly comedies and histories, genres he raised to the peak of sophistication and artistry by the end of the sixteenth century. Next he wrote mainly tragedies until about 1608, including Hamlet, King Lear, and Macbeth, considered some of the finest examples in the English language. In his last phase, he wrote tragicomedies, also known as romances, and collaborated with other playwrights. Many of his plays were published in editions of varying quality and accuracy during his lifetime, and in 1623 two of his former theatrical colleagues published the First Folio, a collected edition of his dramatic works that included all but two of the plays now recognised as Shakespeare's. Shakespeare was a respected poet and playwright in his own day, but his reputation did not rise to its present heights until the nineteenth century. The Romantics, in particular, acclaimed Shakespeare's genius, and the Victorians hero-worshipped Shakespeare with a reverence that George Bernard Shaw called "bardolatry". In the twentieth century, his work was repeatedly adopted and rediscovered by new movements in scholarship and performance. His plays remain highly popular today and are consistently performed and reinterpreted in diverse cultural and political contexts throughout the world. Source: Wikipedia
William Shakespeare (Romeo and Juliet)
But you haven't tried. You haven't tried once. First you refused to admit that there was a menace at all! Then you reposed an absolutely blind faith in the Emperor! Now you've shifted it to Hari Seldon. Throughout you have invariably relied on authority or on the past—never on yourselves." His fists balled spasmodically. "It amounts to a diseased attitude—a conditioned reflex that shunts aside the independence of your minds whenever it is a question of opposing authority. There seems no doubt ever in your minds that the Emperor is more powerful than you are, or Hari Seldon Wiser. And that's wrong don't you see?" For some reason, no one cared to answer him. Hardin continued: "It isn't just you. It's the whole Galaxy. Pirenne heard Lord Dorwin's idea of scientific research. Lord Dorwin thought the way to be a good archaeologist was to read all the books on the subject—written by men who were dead for centuries. He thought that the way to solve archaeological puzzles was to weight the opposing authorities. And Pirenne listened and made no objections. Don't you see that there's something wrong with that?" Again the note of near-pleading in his voice. Again no answer. He went on: "And you men and half of Terminus as well are just as bad.. We sit here, considering the Encyclopedia the all-in-all. We consider the greatest end of science is the classification of past data. It is important, but is there no further work to be done? We're receding and forgetting, don't you see? Here in the Periphery they've lost nuclear power. In Gamma Andromeda, a power plant has undergone meltdown because of poor repairs, and the Chancellor of the Empire complains that nuclear technicians are scarce. And the solution? To train new ones? Never! Instead they're to restrict nuclear power." And for the third time: "Don't you see? It's galaxy-wide. It's a worship of the past. It's a deterioration—a stagnation!
Isaac Asimov (Foundation (Foundation, #1))
In a brahmin house where they feed the fire as a god when the fire goes wild and burns the house they splash on it the water of the gutter and the dust of the street, beat their breasts and call the crowd. These men then forget their worship and scold their fire, O lord of the meeting rivers!
Basava (The lord of the meeting rivers: Devotional poems of Basavaṇṇa)
Go on, my dear," urges the snake. "Take one. Hear it? 'Pluck me,' it's saying. That big, shiny red one. 'Pluck me, pluck me now and pluck me hard.' You know you want to." "But God," quotes Eve, putting out feelers for an agent provacateur, clever girl, "expressly forbids us to eat the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge." "Ah yessssss, God ... But God gave us life, did He not? And God gave us desire, did He not? And God gave us taste, did He not? And who else but God made the damned apples in the first place? So what else is life for but to tassste the fruit we desire?" Eve folds her arms schoolgirlishly. "God expressly forbade it. Adam said." The snake grins through his fangs, admiring Eve's playacting. "God is a nice enough chap in His way. I daresay He means well. But between you and The Tree of Knowledge, He is terribly insecure." "Insecure? He made the entire bloody universe! He's omnipotent." "Exactly! Almost neurotic, isn't it? All this worshiping, morning, noon, and night. It's 'Oh Praise Him, Oh Praise Him, Oh Praise the Everlassssting Lord.' I don't call that omnipotent. I call it pathetic. Most independent authorities agree that God has never sufficiently credited the work of virtual particles in the creation of the universssse. He raises you and Adam on this diet of myths while all the really interesting information is locked up in these juicy apples. Seven days? Give me a break.
David Mitchell (Ghostwritten)
If we admit instrumental musick in the worship of God, how can we resist the imposition of all the instruments used among the ancient Jews?—yea, dancing as well as playing, and several other Judaic actions? or, how can we decline a whole rabble of church-officers, necessary to be introduced for instrumental musick, whereof our Lord Jesus Christ hath left us no manner of direction?
Cotton Mather
Women treat us just as Humanity treats its gods. They worship us, and are always bothering us to do something for them', answered Lord Henry, toying with some fruits. 'I should have said that whatever they ask for they had first given to us,' murmured Dorian Gray, gravely. 'They create Love in our natures. They have a right to demand it bac'k.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
The Purpose of the Eucharist lies not in the change of the bread and wine, but in the partaking of Christ, who has become our food, our life, the manifestation of the Church as the body of Christ. This is why the gifts themselves never became in the Orthodox East an object of special reverence, contemplation, and adoration, and likewise an object of special theological 'problematics': how, when, in what manner their change is accomplished.
Alexander Schmemann (The Eucharist: Sacrament of the Kingdom)
Some of the faithful had a distinct aspect of roostering, loudly proclaiming that they were going to pray on any number of topics, how God was walking beside them through their incarceration, how Jesus loved sinners, and so on. Personally, I thought that one could thank the Lord at a lower volume and perhaps with less self-congratulation. You could worship loudly and still act pretty lousy, abundant evidence of which was running around the Dorms.
Piper Kerman (Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison)
Some of the faithful had a distinct aspect of roostering, loudly proclaiming that they were going to pray on any number of topics, how God was walking besides them through their incarceration, how Jesus loved sinners, and so on. Personally, I thought that one could thank the Lord at a lower volume and perhaps with less self-congratulation. You could worship loudly and still act pretty lousy, abundant evidence of which was running around the Dorms.
Piper Kerman (Orange Is the New Black)
Debarred from public worship, David was heartsick. Ease he did not seek, honour he did not covet, but the enjoyment of communion with God was an urgent need of his soul; he viewed it not merely as the sweetest of all luxuries, but as an absolute necessity, like water to a stag. Like the parched traveler in the wilderness, whose skin bottle is empty, and who finds the wells dry, he must drink or die – he must have his God or faint. His soul, his very self, his deepest life, was insatiable for a sense of the divine presence. . . . Give him his God and he is as content as the poor deer which at length slakes its thirst and is perfectly happy; but deny him his Lord, and his heart heaves, his bosom palpitates, his whole frame is convulsed, like one who gasps for breath, or pants with long running. Dear friend, dost thou know what this is, by personally having felt the same? It is a sweet bitterness. The next best thing to living in the light of the Lord’s love is to be unhappy till we have it, and to pant hourly after it – hourly, did I say? Thirst is a perpetual appetite, and not to be forgotten, and even thus continually is the heart’s longing after God. When it is as natural for us to long for God as for an animal to thirst, it is well with our souls, however painful our feelings
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Yes, every act of obedience is an act of worship." he said. "But why don't we learn that sooner? Why do we waste our lives before we learn how to live?" "I am sure," he returned, "that we do not learn as fast as we are willing to learn. God does not force instruction upon us, but when we say as Luther did, 'More light, Lord, more light,' the light comes." I questioned myself after he had gone as to whether this could be true of me. Is there not in my heart some secret reluctance to know the truth lest that knowledge should call to a higher and a holier life than I have yet tried?
Elizabeth Payson Prentiss (Stepping Heavenward)
A sacramental understanding of the world is simply a shorthand way of describing the psalmist’s claim that "The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it" (Ps. 24:1), echoed in Paul’s claim that in the Creator God "we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:28).
James K.A. Smith (Desiring the Kingdom: Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation (Cultural Liturgies))
Worship is Political Science 101. In every worship service, the Christian ekklesia is renewed in her unique story and language, her unique political experience and vocation. Every worship service is a challenge to Caesar, because every Lord's Day we bow to a Man on the throne of heaven, to whom even great Caesar must bow. O'Donovan claims that all political order rests on a people's homage to authority, which is to say, on an act of worship. Every Lord's Day, the Church is reconstituted as a polity whose obedience is owed to Christ, and we are taught to name Jesus as King of kings and Lord of lords.
Peter J. Leithart (Against Christianity)
There is so much false spirituality around us these days, calling itself goddess-worship or "the way." It is false because too cheaply bought and little understood, but most of all because it does not lend, but rather saps, that energy we need to do our work. So when an example of the real power of healing love comes along such as this one, it is difficult to use the same words to talk about it because so many of our best and most erotic words have been so cheapened. Perhaps I can say this all more simply; I say the love of women healed me.
Audre Lorde (The Cancer Journals)
For we must Consider that we shall be as a City upon a Hill, the eyes of all people are upon us; so that if we shall deal falsely with our god in this work we have undertaken and so cause him to withdraw his present help from us, we shall be made a story and a byword through the world, we shall open the mouths of enemies to speak evil of the ways of god and all professors for Gods sake; we shall shame the faces of many of gods worthy servants, and cause their prayers to be turned into Curses upon us till we be consumed out of the good land whether we are going: And to shut up this discourse with that exhortation of Moses that faithful servant of the Lord in his last farewell to Israel Deut. 30. Beloved there is now set before us life, and good, death and evil in that we are Commanded this day to love the Lord our God, and to love one another to walk in his ways and to keep his Commandments and his Ordinance, and his laws, and the Articles of our Covenant with him that we may live and be multiplied, and that the Lord our God may bless us in the land whether we go to possess it: But if our hearts shall turn away so that we will not obey, but shall be seduced and worship other Gods our pleasures, and profits, and serve them, it is propounded unto us this day, we shall surely perish out of the good Land whether we pass over this vast Sea to possess it.
John Winthrop
Lord, give me the capacity of never praying, spare me the insanity of all worship, let this temptation of love pass from me which would deliver me forever unto You. Let the void spread between my heart and heaven! I have no desire to people my deserts by Your presence, to tyrannize my nights by Your light, to dissolve my Siberias beneath Your sun.
Emil M. Cioran (A Short History of Decay)
The prophet knew that religion could distort what the Lord demanded of man, that priests themselves had committed perjury by bearing false witness, condoning violence, tolerating hatred, calling for ceremonies instead of bursting forth with wrath and indignation at cruelty, deceit, idolatry, and violence. To the people, religion was Temple, priesthood, incense: "This is the Temple of the Lord, the Temple of the Lord, the Temple of the Lord" (Jer. 7:4). Such piety Jeremiah brands as fraud and illusion. "Behold you trust in deceptive words to no avail," he calls (Jer. 7 : 8 ). Worship preceded o r followed by evil acts becomes a n absurdity. The holy place is doomed when people indulge in unholy deeds.
Abraham Joshua Heschel (The Prophets)
I am fearful most men of this age are like you. They have forgotten what it is to huddle in a hut with the beasts and demons howling outside their door. They no longer have want of a great and terrible spirit to protect them. They have lost their fear of the wild and with it their need to believe. And I cannot blame them, for they now have the power to chase away the shadows with a mere flick of a switch. So I must ask myself, what role can I play in a world where men worship the moving-picture box, where they make and consume potions that eat away their own brains, where they ravage and pillage entire mountains, kill the very earth itself? “Mankind has lost its connection to the land, to the earth, to the beasts and spirits. They gather their food not from the forest and fields, but from plastic bins and ice boxes. Their lives are no longer tied to the cycles of the seasons and the harvest, no longer do they need the Yule Lord to chase away the winter darkness and usher in the light of spring. Man has only himself to fear now . . . he has become his own worst devil.
Brom (Krampus: The Yule Lord)
Let the fellowship of Christ examine itself and see whether it has given any token of the love of Christ to the victim of the world's contumely and contempt, any token of that love of Christ which seeks to preserve, support and protect life. Otherwise however liturgically correct our services are, and however devout our prayer, however brave our testimony, they will profit us nothing, nay rather, they must needs testify against us that we have as a Church ceased to follow our Lord.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (The Cost of Discipleship)
Once more, the joyful character of the eucharistic gathering must be stressed. For the medieval emphasis on the cross, while not a wrong one, is certainly one-sided. The liturgy is, before everything else, the joyous gathering of those who are to meet the risen Lord and to enter with him into the bridal chamber. And it is this joy of expectation and this expectation of joy that are expressed in singing and ritual, in vestments and in censing, in that whole 'beauty' of the liturgy which has so often been denounced as unnecessary and even sinful. Unnecessary it is indeed, for we are beyond the categories of the 'necessary.' Beauty is never 'necessary,' 'functional' or 'useful.' And when, expecting someone whom we love, we put a beautiful tablecloth on the table and decorate it with candles and flowers, we do all this not out of necessity, but out of love. And the Church is love, expectation and joy.
Alexander Schmemann (For the Life of the World: Sacraments and Orthodoxy)
True worship of God springs from our inability to answer two simple questions posed by a biblical understanding of the fear of the Lord: (1) O God, who is like you in power, righteousness, mighty deeds, and in pardoning sin (Ps. 71:18-19; Mic. 7:18-20)? and (2) what are woman and man that God should look down from heaven and care for them and lift them up to sit with princes (Ps. 8:4; 113:5-8)?
Andrew E. Hill (Enter His Courts with Praise!: Old Testament Worship for the New Testament Church)
Mirabai composed many ecstatic songs which are still treasured in India; I translate one of them here: “If by bathing daily God could be realised Sooner would I be a whale in the deep; If by eating roots and fruits He could be known Gladly would I choose the form of a goat; If the counting of rosaries uncovered Him I would say my prayers on mammoth beads; If bowing before stone images unveiled Him A flinty mountain I would humbly worship; If by drinking milk the Lord could be imbibed Many calves and children would know Him; If abandoning one’s wife would summon God Would not thousands be eunuchs? Mirabai knows that to find the Divine One The only indispensable is Love.
Paramahansa Yogananda (The Autobiography of a Yogi ("Popular Life Stories"))
A few minutes ago every tree was excited, bowing to the roaring storm, waving, swirling, tossing their branches in glorious enthusiasm like worship. But though to the outer ear these trees are now silent, their songs never cease. Every hidden cell is throbbing with music and life, every fiber thrilling like harp strings, while incense is ever flowing from the balsam bells and leaves. No wonder the hills and groves were God's first temples, and the more they are cut down and hewn into cathedrals and churches, the farther off and dimmer seems the Lord himself.
John Muir
From Brahma Puran ब्राह्मीं च वैष्णवीं भद्रां, षड्-भुजां च चतुर्मुखीम्। त्रि-नेत्रां खड्ग-त्रिशूल-पद्म-चक्र-गदा-धराम्॥ पीताम्बर-धरां देवीं, नानाऽलंकार-भूषिताम्। तेजः-पुञ्ज-धरीं श्रेष्ठां, ध्यायेद् बाल-कुमारिकाम्॥ Meditate on youthful Brahmi* and Vaishnavi* surely, With six hands, four faces, three eyes gives safety, With sword, trident, lotus, wheel, globe, mace be, Greatest – yellow dressed, well decorated elegantly.
Munindra Misra (Chants of Hindu Gods and Godesses in English Rhyme)
The season of the world before us will be like no other in the history of mankind. Satan has unleashed every evil, every scheme, every blatant, vile perversion ever known to man in any generation. Just as this is the dispensation of the fullness of times, so it is also the dispensation of the fullness of evil. We and our wives and husbands, our children, and our members must find safety. There is no safety in the world: wealth cannot provide it, enforcement agencies cannot assure it, membership in this Church alone cannot bring it. As the evil night darkens upon this generation, we must come to the temple for light and safety. In our temples we find quiet, sacred havens where the storm cannot penetrate to us. There are hosts of unseen sentinels watching over and guarding our temples. Angels attend every door. As it was in the days of Elisha, so it will be for us: “Those that be with us are more than they that be against us.” Before the Savior comes the world will darken. There will come a period of time where even the elect will lose hope if they do not come to the temples. The world will be so filled with evil that the righteous will only feel secure within these walls. The saints will come here not only to do vicarious work, but to find a haven of peace. They will long to bring their children here for safety’s sake. I believe we may well have living on the earth now or very soon the boy or babe who will be the prophet of the Church when the Savior comes. Those who will sit in the Quorum of Twelve Apostles are here. There are many in our homes and communities who will have apostolic callings. We must keep them clean, sweet and pure in an oh so wicked world. There will be greater hosts of unseen beings in the temple. Prophets of old as well as those in this dispensation will visit the temples. Those who attend will feel their strength and feel their companionship. We will not be alone in our temples. Our garments worn as instructed will clothe us in a manner as protective as temple walls. The covenants and ordinances will fill us with faith as a living fire. In a day of desolating sickness, scorched earth, barren wastes, sickening plagues, disease, destruction, and death, we as a people will rest in the shade of trees, we will drink from the cooling fountains. We will abide in places of refuge from the storm, we will mount up as on eagle’s wings, we will be lifted out of an insane and evil world. We will be as fair as the sun and clear as the moon. The Savior will come and will honor his people. Those who are spared and prepared will be a temple-loving people. They will know Him. They will cry out, “Blessed be the name of He that cometh in the name of the Lord; thou are my God and I will bless thee; thou are my God and I will exalt thee.” Our children will bow down at His feet and worship Him as the Lord of Lords, the King of Kings. They will bathe His feet with their tears and He will weep and bless them for having suffered through the greatest trials ever known to man. His bowels will be filled with compassion and His heart will swell wide as eternity and He will love them. He will bring peace that will last a thousand years and they will receive their reward to dwell with Him. Let us prepare them with faith to surmount every trial and every condition. We will do it in these holy, sacred temples. Come, come, oh come up to the temples of the Lord and abide in His presence.
Vaughn J. Featherstone
He wants in His freedom actually not to be without man but WITH him and in the same freedom not against him but FOR him, and that apart from or even counter to what man deserves. He wants in fact to be man's partner, his almighty and compassionate Saviour. He chooses to give man the benefit of His power, which encompasses not only the high and the distant but also the deep and the near, in order to maintain communion with him in the realm guaranteed by His deity. He determines to love him, to be his God, his Lord, his compassionate Preserver and Saviour to eternal life, and to desire his praise and service.
Karl Barth (The Humanity of God)
In my story Sauron represents as near an approach to the wholly evil will as is possible. He had gone the way of all tyrants: beginning well, at least on the level that while desiring to order all things according to his own wisdom he still at first considered the (economic) well-being of other inhabitants of the Earth. But he went further than human tyrants in pride and the lust for domination, being in origin an immortal (angelic) spirit.* In The Lord of the Rings the conflict is not basically about 'freedom', though that is naturally involved. It is about God, and His sole right to divine honour. The Eldar and the Númenóreans believed in The One, the true God, and held worship of any other person an abomination. Sauron desired to be a God-King, and was held to be this by his servants; if he had been victorious he would have demanded divine honour from all rational creatures and absolute temporal power over the whole world.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien)
She was silent; the great wings almost stopped moving; only a delicate stirring seemed to keep them aloft. "Listen, then," Mrs. Whatsit said. The resonant voice rose and the words seemed to be all around them so that Meg felt that she could almost reach out and touch them: "Sing unto the Lord a new song, and His praise from the end of the earth, ye that go down to the sea, and all that there is therein; the isles, and the inhabitants thereof. Let the wilderness and the cities thereof lift their voice; let the inhabitants of the rock sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains. Let them give glory unto the Lord!
Madeleine L'Engle (A Wrinkle in Time (A Wrinkle in Time Quintet, #1))
In my early twenties, I was traveling through a small town in Turkey called Cappadocia, when the divine spark of faith reignited within me like lightning. All it took was my eyes to fall upon a woman who was drowned in her worship of God. I watched her pray in an old seventeenth-century animal barn, as if nothing in the world existed but her divine Lover. She did not robotically repeat words of prayer like a formula; rather, every word she uttered came with a silent “I love you, my beloved Lord.” Her words were like synchronized dancers swimming in unison in the ocean of love that poured out of her. She was the first person I had ever seen in my life that not only prayed but she herself became the prayer.
A. Helwa (Secrets of Divine Love: A Spiritual Journey into the Heart of Islam)
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN we pray? Have you ever really thought about that? When you bow your knee and fold your hands or walk the floor with your eyes closed, opening your heart to heaven, what exactly happens? There are very few references in the Bible about the proper procedures for how to pray, and I believe that is because prayer is more about the heart’s attitude and focus than it is about whether we stand, sit, close our eyes, or any other practice we normally associate with prayer. The truth be told, if we are supposed to pray without ceasing, we should also be able to work on an engine, write an e-mail, give a presentation, change a diaper, write a report, have coffee with a friend, encourage a coworker, pay our bills, and any of the other myriad of things we do in a day while still keeping the communication lines open with heaven. I believe that every day we need focused times of prayer, but at all other times we should be in an attitude of prayer with our spiritual ears open to the thoughts of heaven. There should be seasons of intense, concentrated prayer and fasting with specified hours set aside for intercession, and there should be times when prayer is simply a regular part of our daily routine. A great interest has arisen in the last decade around 24-7 prayer rooms where different church members pray in hour-long blocks so that unbroken intercession is raised up for their city and our world. Other churches dedicate evenings solely to prayer and worship and gather believers to lift their voices in song and petition to the Lord. While all of these are wonderful things to do, at its essence prayer is simply conversation with God. Because we have changed passports from the kingdom of this world to the kingdom of heaven, we are members of God’s family and therefore have the right to talk with our Father anytime we want because He is not limited by time and space. Yet while it isn’t difficult to speak to Him, even as a babe in faith, it does take some maturity to discern His voice from the voice of our own thoughts, dreams, and desires. This is why, when I speak about prayer, I get more questions about hearing the voice of God than anything else.
Cindy Trimm (The Prayer Warrior's Way: Strategies from Heaven for Intimate Communication with God)
1 You said ‘The world is going back to Paganism’. Oh bright Vision! I saw our dynasty in the bar of the House Spill from their tumblers a libation to the Erinyes, And Leavis with Lord Russell wreathed in flowers, heralded with flutes, Leading white bulls to the cathedral of the solemn Muses To pay where due the glory of their latest theorem. Hestia’s fire in every flat, rekindled, burned before The Lardergods. Unmarried daughters with obedient hands Tended it. By the hearth the white-armd venerable mother Domum servabat, lanam faciebat. At the hour Of sacrifice their brothers came, silent, corrected, grave Before their elders; on their downy cheeks easily the blush Arose (it is the mark of freemen’s children) as they trooped, Gleaming with oil, demurely home from the palaestra or the dance. Walk carefully, do not wake the envy of the happy gods, Shun Hubris. The middle of the road, the middle sort of men, Are best. Aidos surpasses gold. Reverence for the aged Is wholesome as seasonable rain, and for a man to die Defending the city in battle is a harmonious thing. Thus with magistral hand the Puritan Sophrosune Cooled and schooled and tempered our uneasy motions; Heathendom came again, the circumspection and the holy fears … You said it. Did you mean it? Oh inordinate liar, stop. 2 Or did you mean another kind of heathenry? Think, then, that under heaven-roof the little disc of the earth, Fortified Midgard, lies encircled by the ravening Worm. Over its icy bastions faces of giant and troll Look in, ready to invade it. The Wolf, admittedly, is bound; But the bond wil1 break, the Beast run free. The weary gods, Scarred with old wounds the one-eyed Odin, Tyr who has lost a hand, Will limp to their stations for the Last defence. Make it your hope To be counted worthy on that day to stand beside them; For the end of man is to partake of their defeat and die His second, final death in good company. The stupid, strong Unteachable monsters are certain to be victorious at last, And every man of decent blood is on the losing side. Take as your model the tall women with yellow hair in plaits Who walked back into burning houses to die with men, Or him who as the death spear entered into his vitals Made critical comments on its workmanship and aim. Are these the Pagans you spoke of? Know your betters and crouch, dogs; You that have Vichy water in your veins and worship the event Your goddess History (whom your fathers called the strumpet Fortune).
C.S. Lewis
The air of a deposed prince. falsehood as restorative-if they wouldnt do that if they wouldnt do all that they do. the body as traitor the body as foe. she's thinking about mythology,about reluctant daphne/ relentless apollo. if she could, as daphne did, cry out to mother earth for protection. and have every suitors find a laurel tree in his arms. people would still look up to her. misjudge her. misunderstand her. worship her evn[damn druids]. or carve someone elses name into her. 'oh sweetie dont take things so seriously: the world is your oister' just as she thot, the world is something slimy in a shell. he's so proud of his knavery. okay, she's been vainglorious about her sins too but shes tired of that. 'if you love someone you accept him as he is, but if you accept him as he is than you dont really love him because if you did youd want whats best for him and that usually means he should be better than he is. a meadowy susuration that she used to pretend to like. but not anymore. shes sick of 'huh?' too, that interjection of ignorance. 'love in action is a harsh and dreadful thing compared to love in dreams.'-Feodor Dostoyevsky. she wants to kiss him. but just in some neutral way. some agape-not-eros way. like disciples kiss. or brave french freedom fighters. 'for i the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visisting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children'-Exodus 20:5 'its just stuff that i thot was interesting. its not, you know, a rorshach. its not like somebody could read this and figure me out.' 'transylvania has beautiful nights. ill just open the window and slip out of this cumbersome crucfix.' 'like the Torah said, dont just hate somebody in your heart; rebuke him.'" -Margaux with an X
Ron Koertge
I was tired of being your Magdalene. I was tired of waiting expectantly at your tomb every night for you to rise and bring light into my world once again. I was tired of groveling on my knees and washing blood off your heels with my hair and tears. I was tired of having the air sucked out of my lungs every time your eyes cut right to the heart of me. I was tired of the circumference of the whole universe living in your circled arms, of the spark of life hiding in your kiss, of the power of death lying in wait in your teeth. I was tired of carrying around the weight of a love like worship, of the sickly-warm rush of idolatry coloring my whole world. I was tired of faithfulness. I made you into my private Christ, supplicated with my own dark devotions. Nothing existed beyond the range of your exacting gaze, not even me. I was simply a non-entity when you weren't looking at me, an empty vessel waiting to be filled by the sweet water of your attention. A woman can't live like that, my lord. No one can. Don't ask me why I did it. God, forgive me. Christ, forgive me.
S.T. Gibson (A Dowry of Blood (A Dowry of Blood #1))
That the writers of the Bible recognized a plurality of gods -- were polytheists -- is proved by the following 'And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us' (Gen. iii, 22). 'Who is like unto thee, O Lord, among the gods?' (Ex. xv, 11.) 'Among the gods, there is none like unto thee, O Lord' (Ps. Ixxxvi, 8). 'The Lord is a great God, and a great king above all gods' (Ps. xcv, 3). 'Thou shalt not revile the gods' (Ex. xxii, 28). Monotheism, the doctrine of one god, is not merely the worship of one god, but the belief in the existence of one god only. Many were monotheistic in worship -- worshiped one god, their national deity -- while at the same time they were polytheistic in belief -- believed in the existence of many gods. The Jews who worshiped Jehovah have been called monotheists. And yet, for a thousand years, they believed in the existence of Kemosh, Baal, Moloch, Tammuz, and other deities. They believed that Jehovah was their national god and that they owed allegiance to him; just as the subjects of an earthly king profess their loyalty to him without denying the existence of other kings.
John E. Remsburg (The Christ)
Larry smiled a trifle ruefully. "Like Rolla [who is?], I've come too late into a world too old. I should have been born in the Middle Ages when faith was a matter of course; then my way would have been clear to me and I'd have sought to enter the order. I couldn't believe. I wanted to believe, but I couldn't believe in a God who wasn't better than the ordinary decent man. The monks told me that God had created the world for his glorification. That didn't seem to me a very worthy object. Did Beethoven create his symphonies for his glorification? I don't believe it. I believe he created them because the music in his soul demanded expression and then all he tried to do was to make them as perfect as he knew how. I used to listen to the monks repeating the Lord's Prayer; I wondered how they could continue to pray without misgiving to their heavenly father to give them their daily bread. Do children beseech their earthly father to give them sustenance? They expect him to do it, they neither feel gratitude to him for doing so nor need to, and we have only blame for a man who brings children into the world that he can't or won't provide for. It seemed to me that if an omnipotent creator was not prepared to provide his creatures with the necessities, material and spiritual, of existence he'd have done better not to create them." "Dear Larry," I said, "I think it's just as well you weren't born in the Middle ages. You'd undoubtedly have perished at the stake." He smiled. "You've had a great deal of success," he went on. "Do you want to be praised to your face?" "It only embarrasses me." "That's what I should have thought. I couldn't believe that God wanted it either. We didn't think much in the air corps of a fellow who wangled a cushy job out of his C.O. By buttering him up. It was hard for me to believe that God thought much of a man who tried to wangle salvation by fulsome flattery. I should have thought the worship most pleasing to him was to do your best according to your lights.
W. Somerset Maugham (The Razor's Edge)
Do you know why so many Christians are caving on the issue of homosexuality? Certainly cultural pressure plays a big role. But our failure to really understand the holiness of heaven is another significant factor. If heaven is a place of universal acceptance for all pretty nice people, why should anyone make a big deal about homosexuality here on earth? Many Christians have never been taught that sorcerers and murderers and idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood will be left outside the gates of heaven (Rev. 22:15). So they do not have the guts (or the compassion) to say that the unrepentantly sexually immoral will not be welcomed in either, which is exactly what Revelation 21–22 teaches. Because God’s new world is free from every stain or hint of sin, it’s hard to imagine how we could enjoy heaven without holiness. As J. C. Ryle reminds us, heaven is a holy place. The Lord of heaven is a holy God. The angels are holy creatures. The inhabitants are holy saints. Holiness is written on everything in heaven. And nothing unholy can enter into this heaven (Rev. 21:27; Heb. 12:14). Even if you could enter heaven without holiness, what would you do? What joy would you feel there? What holy man or woman of God would you sit down with for fellowship? Their pleasures are not your pleasures. Their character is not your character. What they love, you do not love. If you dislike a holy God now, why would you want to be with him forever? If worship does not capture your attention at present, what makes you think it will thrill you in some heavenly future? If ungodliness is your delight here on earth, what will please you in heaven, where all is clean and pure? You would not be happy there if you are not holy here.6 Or as Spurgeon put it, “Sooner could a fish live upon a tree than the wicked in Paradise.”7
Kevin DeYoung (The Hole in Our Holiness: Filling the Gap between Gospel Passion and the Pursuit of Godliness)
Jesus Christ is not a cosmic errand boy. I mean no disrespect or irreverence in so saying, but I do intend to convey the idea that while he loves us deeply and dearly, Christ the Lord is not perched on the edge of heaven, anxiously anticipating our next wish. When we speak of God being good to us, we generally mean that he is kind to us. In the words of the inimitable C. S. Lewis, "What would really satisfy us would be a god who said of anything we happened to like doing, 'What does it matter so long as they are contented?' We want, in fact, not so much a father in heaven as a grandfather in heaven--a senile benevolence who as they say, 'liked to see young people enjoying themselves,' and whose plan for the universe was simply that it might be truly said at the end of each day, 'a good time was had by all.'" You know and I know that our Lord is much, much more than that. One writer observed: "When we so emphasize Christ's benefits that he becomes nothing more than what his significance is 'for me' we are in danger. . . . Evangelism that says 'come on, it's good for you'; discipleship that concentrates on the benefits package; sermons that 'use' Jesus as the means to a better life or marriage or job or attitude--these all turn Jesus into an expression of that nice god who always meets my spiritual needs. And this is why I am increasingly hesitant to speak of Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior. As Ken Woodward put it in a 1994 essay, 'Now I think we all need to be converted--over and over again, but having a personal Savior has always struck me as, well, elitist, like having a personal tailor. I'm satisfied to have the same Lord and Savior as everyone else.' Jesus is not a personal Savior who only seeks to meet my needs. He is the risen, crucified Lord of all creation who seeks to guide me back into the truth." . . . His infinity does not preclude either his immediacy or his intimacy. One man stated that "I want neither a terrorist spirituality that keeps me in a perpetual state of fright about being in right relationship with my heavenly Father nor a sappy spirituality that portrays God as such a benign teddy bear that there is no aberrant behavior or desire of mine that he will not condone." . . . Christ is not "my buddy." There is a natural tendency, and it is a dangerous one, to seek to bring Jesus down to our level in an effort to draw closer to him. This is a problem among people both in and outside the LDS faith. Of course we should seek with all our hearts to draw near to him. Of course we should strive to set aside all barriers that would prevent us from closer fellowship with him. And of course we should pray and labor and serve in an effort to close the gap between what we are and what we should be. But drawing close to the Lord is serious business; we nudge our way into intimacy at the peril of our souls. . . . Another gospel irony is that the way to get close to the Lord is not by attempting in any way to shrink the distance between us, to emphasize more of his humanity than his divinity, or to speak to him or of him in casual, colloquial language. . . . Those who have come to know the Lord best--the prophets or covenant spokesmen--are also those who speak of him in reverent tones, who, like Isaiah, find themselves crying out, "Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts" (Isaiah 6:5). Coming into the presence of the Almighty is no light thing; we feel to respond soberly to God's command to Moses: "Put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground" (Exodus 3:5). Elder Bruce R. McConkie explained, "Those who truly love the Lord and who worship the Father in the name of the Son by the power of the Spirit, according to the approved patterns, maintain a reverential barrier between themselves and all the members of the Godhead.
Robert L. Millet
Is there for honest Poverty That hings his head, an' a' that; The coward slave-we pass him by, We dare be poor for a' that! For a' that, an' a' that. Our toils obscure an' a' that, The rank is but the guinea's stamp, The Man's the gowd for a' that. What though on hamely fare we dine, Wear hoddin grey, an' a that; Gie fools their silks, and knaves their wine; A Man's a Man for a' that: For a' that, and a' that, Their tinsel show, an' a' that; The honest man, tho' e'er sae poor, Is king o' men for a' that. Ye see yon birkie, ca'd a lord, Wha struts, an' stares, an' a' that; Tho' hundreds worship at his word, He's but a coof for a' that: For a' that, an' a' that, His ribband, star, an' a' that: The man o' independent mind He looks an' laughs at a' that. A prince can mak a belted knight, A marquis, duke, an' a' that; But an honest man's abon his might, Gude faith, he maunna fa' that! For a' that, an' a' that, Their dignities an' a' that; The pith o' sense, an' pride o' worth, Are higher rank than a' that. Then let us pray that come it may, (As come it will for a' that,) That Sense and Worth, o'er a' the earth, Shall bear the gree, an' a' that. For a' that, an' a' that, It's coming yet for a' that, That Man to Man, the world o'er, Shall brothers be for a' that.
Robert Burns
At the heart of Galatians 2 is not an abstract individualized salvation, but a common meal. Paul does not want the Galatians to wait until they have agreed on all doctrinal arguments before they can sit down and eat together. Not to eat together is already to get the answer wrong. The whole point of his argument is that all those who belong to Christ belong at the same table with one another. The relevance of this today should be obvious. The differences between us, as twentieth-century Christians, all too often reflect cultural, philosophical and tribal divides, rather than anything that should keep us apart from full and glad eucharistic fellowship. I believe the church should recognize, as a matter of biblical and Christian obedience, that it is time to put the horse back before the cart, and that we are far, far more likely to reach doctrinal agreement between our different churches if we do so within the context of that common meal which belongs equally to us all because it is the meal of the Lord whom we all worship. Intercommunion, in other words, is not something we should regard as the prize to be gained at the end of the ecumenical road; it is the very paving of the road itself. If we wonder why we haven't been travelling very fast down the road of late, maybe it's because, without the proper paving, we've got stuck in the mud.
N.T. Wright (For All God's Worth: True Worship and the Calling of the Church)
A SAVIOR IS BORN Psalm 8:9 (ESV) O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!   REFLECTION On this night, shepherds were doing what they always did, keeping an eye on Bethlehem’s sheep through the night. But everything was about to change, as heaven opened and the angel of the Lord appeared to them and declared that Jesus had been born nearby. What irony. The sheep these shepherds were raising would be sacrificed just a few miles down the road on Jerusalem’s altar. Yet the shepherds themselves could not enter the temple to worship even if they wanted to. Because of their profession, they were ceremonially unclean. They were outcasts in the very worship that their hands made possible. Yet, God chose the shepherds to receive the greatest news ever heard. God came to them because He knew the shepherds couldn’t make it to church. What does that say about the Gospel? What does it say about you? This magnificent night says that grace meets you where you are, and saves you while you cannot do a thing to save yourself. Tonight, celebrate that Christ has come. Not to a mansion, but a manger. Not to the high and mighty, but to the guys on the lowest rung of the spiritual ladder. And celebrate that God’s grace finds you wherever you are this Christmas and shows you the way upwards to the arms of Almighty God. MEDITATION FOR CHRISTMAS EVE
Louie Giglio (Waiting Here for You: An Advent Journey of Hope)
I was tired of being your Magdalene. I was tired of waiting expectantly at your tomb every night for you to rise and bring light into my world once again. I was tired of groveling on my knees and washing blood off your heels with my hair and tears. I was tired of having the air sucked out of my lungs every time your eyes cut right to the heart of me. I was tired of the circumference of the whole universe living in your circled arms, of the spark of life hiding in your kiss, of the power of death lying in wait in your teeth. I was tired of carrying around the weight of a love like worship, of the sickly-warm rush of idolatry coloring my whole world. I was tired of faithfulness. I made you into my private Christ, supplicated with my own dark devotions. Nothing existed beyond the range of your exacting gaze, not even me. I was simply a none-entity when you weren't looking at me, an empty vessel waiting to be filled by the sweet water of your attention. A woman can't live like that, my lord. No one can. Don't ask me why I did it. God, forgive me. Christ, forgive me.
S.T. Gibson (A Dowry of Blood (A Dowry of Blood #1))
Suppose for a moment that you were allowed to enter heaven without holiness. What would you do? What possible enjoyment could you feel there? To which of all the saints would you join yourself, and by whose side would you sit down? Their pleasures are not your pleasures, their tastes not your tastes, their character not your character. How could you possibly be happy, if you had not been holy on earth? Now perhaps you love the company of the light and the careless, the worldly-minded and the covetous, the reveller and the pleasure-seeker, the ungodly and the profane. There will be none such in heaven. Now perhaps you think the saints of God too strict and particular, and serious. You rather avoid them. You have no delight in their society. There will be no other company in heaven. Now perhaps you think praying, and Scripture-reading, and hymn singing, dull and melancholy, and stupid work—a thing to be tolerated now and then, but not enjoyed. You reckon the Sabbath a burden and a weariness; you could not possibly spend more than a small part of it in worshipping God. But remember, heaven is a never-ending Sabbath. The inhabitants thereof rest not day or night, saying, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty” and singing the praise of the Lamb. How could an unholy man find pleasure in occupation such as this? Think you that such an one would delight to meet David, and Paul, and John, after a life spent in doing the very things they spoke against? Would he take sweet counsel with them, and find that he and they had much in common?—Think you, above all, that he would rejoice to meet Jesus, the Crucified One, face to face, after cleaving to the sins for which He died, after loving His enemies and despising His friends? Would he stand before Him with confidence, and join in the cry, “This is our God; we have waited for Him, we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation”? (Isa. xxv. 9.) Think you not rather that the tongue of an unholy man would cleave to the roof of his mouth with shame, and his only desire would be to be cast out! He would feel a stranger in a land he knew not, a black sheep amidst Christ’s holy flock. The voice of Cherubim and Seraphim, the song of Angels and Archangels and all the company of heaven, would be a language he could not understand. The very air would seem an air he could not breathe. I know not what others may think, but to me it does seem clear that heaven would be a miserable place to an unholy man. It cannot be otherwise. People may say, in a vague way, “they hope to go to heaven;” but they do not consider what they say. There must be a certain “meetness for the inheritance of the saints in light.” Our hearts must be somewhat in tune. To reach the holiday of glory, we must pass through the training school of grace. We must be heavenly-minded, and have heavenly tastes, in the life that now is, or else we shall never find ourselves in heaven, in the life to come.
J.C. Ryle (Holiness)
There is a vast difference between being a Christian and being a disciple. The difference is commitment. Motivation and discipline will not ultimately occur through listening to sermons, sitting in a class, participating in a fellowship group, attending a study group in the workplace or being a member of a small group, but rather in the context of highly accountable, relationally transparent, truth-centered, small discipleship units. There are twin prerequisites for following Christ - cost and commitment, neither of which can occur in the anonymity of the masses. Disciples cannot be mass produced. We cannot drop people into a program and see disciples emerge at the end of the production line. It takes time to make disciples. It takes individual personal attention. Discipleship training is not about information transfer, from head to head, but imitation, life to life. You can ultimately learn and develop only by doing. The effectiveness of one's ministry is to be measured by how well it flourishes after one's departure. Discipling is an intentional relationship in which we walk alongside other disciples in order to encourage, equip, and challenge one another in love to grow toward maturity in Christ. This includes equipping the disciple to teach others as well. If there are no explicit, mutually agreed upon commitments, then the group leader is left without any basis to hold people accountable. Without a covenant, all leaders possess is their subjective understanding of what is entailed in the relationship. Every believer or inquirer must be given the opportunity to be invited into a relationship of intimate trust that provides the opportunity to explore and apply God's Word within a setting of relational motivation, and finally, make a sober commitment to a covenant of accountability. Reviewing the covenant is part of the initial invitation to the journey together. It is a sobering moment to examine whether one has the time, the energy and the commitment to do what is necessary to engage in a discipleship relationship. Invest in a relationship with two others for give or take a year. Then multiply. Each person invites two others for the next leg of the journey and does it all again. Same content, different relationships. The invitation to discipleship should be preceded by a period of prayerful discernment. It is vital to have a settled conviction that the Lord is drawing us to those to whom we are issuing this invitation. . If you are going to invest a year or more of your time with two others with the intent of multiplying, whom you invite is of paramount importance. You want to raise the question implicitly: Are you ready to consider serious change in any area of your life? From the outset you are raising the bar and calling a person to step up to it. Do not seek or allow an immediate response to the invitation to join a triad. You want the person to consider the time commitment in light of the larger configuration of life's responsibilities and to make the adjustments in schedule, if necessary, to make this relationship work. Intentionally growing people takes time. Do you want to measure your ministry by the number of sermons preached, worship services designed, homes visited, hospital calls made, counseling sessions held, or the number of self-initiating, reproducing, fully devoted followers of Jesus? When we get to the shore's edge and know that there is a boat there waiting to take us to the other side to be with Jesus, all that will truly matter is the names of family, friends and others who are self initiating, reproducing, fully devoted followers of Jesus because we made it the priority of our lives to walk with them toward maturity in Christ. There is no better eternal investment or legacy to leave behind.
Greg Ogden (Transforming Discipleship: Making Disciples a Few at a Time)
His fists balled spasmodically. “It amounts to a diseased attitude—a conditioned reflex that shunts aside the independence of your minds whenever it is a question of opposing authority. There seems no doubt ever in your minds that the Emperor is more powerful than you are, or Hari Seldon wiser. And that’s wrong, don’t you see?” For some reason, no one cared to answer him. Hardin continued: “It isn’t just you. It’s the whole Galaxy. Pirenne heard Lord Dorwin’s idea of scientific research. Lord Dorwin thought the way to be a good archaeologist was to read all the books on the subject—written by men who were dead for centuries. He thought that the way to solve archaeological puzzles was to weigh the opposing authorities. And Pirenne listened and made no objections. Don’t you see that there’s something wrong with that?” Again the note of near-pleading in his voice. Again no answer. He went on: “And you men and half of Terminus as well are just as bad. We sit here, considering the Encyclopedia the all-in-all. We consider the greatest end of science is the classification of past data. It is important, but is there no further work to be done? We’re receding and forgetting, don’t you see? Here in the Periphery they’ve lost nuclear power. In Gamma Andromeda, a power plant has undergone meltdown because of poor repairs, and the Chancellor of the Empire complains that nuclear technicians are scarce. And the solution? To train new ones? Never! Instead they’re to restrict nuclear power.” And for the third time: “Don’t you see? It’s Galaxy-wide. It’s a worship of the past. It’s a deterioration—a stagnation!
Isaac Asimov (Foundation (Foundation, #1))
The topic of disinterested, non-calculating, and purposeless love for the sake of love is central to mysticism as such. To love God, not because of powerful institutions, or even because God commands it, but to do so in an act of unencumbered freedom, is the very source of mystical relation. To love God is all the reason there needs to be . . . The orthodoxies that have been handed down to us in the monotheistic religions called for obedience to the commanding God. They threatened with punishment and enticed with rewards - images of hell and heaven resting on that authority. In technologically advanced centers of the world, authoritarian religious systems are in sharp decline. Mystical perceptions and approaches to God, however, are entirely different: "God, if I worship Thee in fear of hell, burn me in hell. And if I worship Thee in hope of Paradise, exclude me from Paradise; but if I worship Thee for Thine own sake, withhold not Thine everlasting Beauty" (Aldous Huxley, in The Perennial Philosophy). Mysticism may he regarded as the anti-authoritarian religion per se. In it, the commanding lord becomes the beloved; what is to come later becomes the now; and naked or even enlightened self-interest that is oriented by reward and punishment becomes mystical freedom.
Dorothee Sölle (The Silent Cry: Mysticism and Resistance)
Though small, the shrine has a long history. In 1333—the Third Year of the Genko era—Lord Takeshigé Kikuchi ascended to it in order to implore the divine favor before going into battle. Victory was his, and in gratitude he had the shrine rebuilt. According to tradition, he himself carved the Worship Image, reciting a triple prayer after each stroke. This represented the god as standing on the mountain peak with one hand raised, gazing at the armed host he had blessed. It was an image of victory. Now, however, the morning after the rising, early on the auspicious Ninth Day of the Ninth Month, the time of the Chrysanthemum Festival, there were gathered around the shrine forty-six hunted survivors of a defeated force. Some standing, some sitting, they stared blankly about them, though the penetrating autumn chill made their wounds sting. The clear light of the rising sun cast a striped pattern as it shone down through the branches of the few old cedars that surrounded the shrine. Birds were singing. The air was fresh and clear. As for signs of last night’s sanguinary combat, these were visible in the soiled and bloodstained garments, the haggard visages, and the eyes that burned like live embers. Among the forty-six were Unshiro Ishihara, Kageki Abé, Kisou Onimaru, Juro Furuta, Tsunetaro Kobayashi, the brothers Gitaro and Gigoro Tashiro, Tateki Ura, Mitsuo Noguchi, Mikao Kashima, and Kango Hayami. Every man was silent, sunk deep in thought, looking off at the sea, or at the mountains, or at the smoke still rising from Kumamoto. Such were the men of the League at rest on the slope of Kimpo, some with fingers yellowed from brushing the petals of wild chrysanthemums that they had plucked while staring across the water at Shimabara Peninsula.
Yukio Mishima (Runaway Horses (The Sea of Fertility, #2))
Towards the end of our conversation in the churchyard today I got the impression that pastor Jón thinks that all gods that men worship are equally good. In the Bhagavad Gita, which pastor Jón cites, Krishna is reported as saying, as I recall: You are free to address your prayers to any god at all; but the one who answers the prayers, I am he. Is this what pastor Jón means when he says that all gods are equally good except the god that answers the prayers, because he is nowhere? Neither of these two standpoints can be accommodated within the framework of our confession of faith. The god who speaks through Krishna's words isn't particularly pleasant, either, because he alone controls the card-game and the other gods are only dummies and he is the one who declares on their cards. At any rate this god is rather far removed from the seventy-year-old grandfather with the large beard who came to breakfast with the farmer Abraham of Ur accompanied by two angels, his attendants, and settled in with him, and whom the Jews inherited and thereafter the pope and finally the Saxons. When Krishna says he is the one god who answers prayers, then this is actually just our orthodox god of the catechism, the one who says: I am the Lord thy God, thou shalt have no other gods before me. Pastor Jón says, on the other hand, Thou shalt have all other gods before the Lord thy God. What is the answer to that?
Halldór Laxness (Under the Glacier)
If we see that God’s intention is to work Himself into us, we shall automatically eat and drink of Him. Mothers know that babies eat and drink automatically, not caring for any forms, manners, or regulations. Infants are better at eating and drinking than adults are. Our eating and drinking are often hindered by all the attention we give to table manners. Sometimes the more we pay attention to manners, the less we enjoy our food. I heard of a Chinese ambassador who attended a formal state dinner in Germany. Because he was so concerned about proper etiquette and table manners, he did not enjoy the food at all. He spent his time watching how others at the dinner conducted themselves and how they used their eating utensils. Table manners kept him from eating. Children are not like this. When my little granddaughter visits us, her grandmother often gives her something to eat. My granddaughter enjoys her food in a spontaneous and informal way. She is a good example of how we should pay less attention to forms and more to eating and drinking. At the very time the Lord Jesus was speaking with the Samaritan woman, the priests in the temple were worshipping God in the formal, systematic, prescribed manner. But where was God at that time? Was He in the temple with [517] the priests, or was He with the woman by the well in Samaria? As we all know, He was with the Samaritan woman. He met with her in the open air, away from the temple and the altar, without religious forms and rituals. Eventually, this Samaritan woman drank of the living water and offered real worship to God. At that time the true worship to God was offered not by the priests in the temple, but by the Samaritan woman who was drinking the living water. The priests worshipped God in vain; the Samaritan woman worshipped Him in reality by drinking Him into her being. The Spirit as the living water was infused into her. God was seeking real worship, and He received it from this Samaritan woman who drank of the Spirit as the living water. Today’s Christians need to see what real worship is. They condemn those in the Lord’s recovery as heretical, when they themselves are heretical and ignorant of the truth. Like the priests in the temple, they are blind to what true worship is. In John 4 the Lord Jesus did not spend time talking to typical Jews according to the Old Testament way of worship. Instead, He conversed with an immoral, semi-heathen woman concerning the worship which satisfies God’s heart. This woman worshipped God in her spirit by drinking of Him as the water to quench her thirst. Thus, God was worshipped by her in a genuine way. How much different this is from formal, religious worship! Throughout the centuries, most Christian worship has been like that of the priests in the temple. Only a small number have worshipped God in spirit by drinking of Him as living water.
Witness Lee (Life-Study of Exodus (Life-Study of the Bible))
was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon" (or simply "The Bard"). His surviving works consist of 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been translated into every major living language, and are performed more often than those of any other playwright. Shakespeare was born and raised in Stratford-upon-Avon. At the age of 18 he married Anne Hathaway, who bore him three children: Susanna, and twins Hamnet and Judith. Between 1585 and 1592 he began a successful career in London as an actor, writer, and part owner of the playing company the Lord Chamberlain's Men, later known as the King's Men. He appears to have retired to Stratford around 1613, where he died three years later. Few records of Shakespeare's private life survive, and there has been considerable speculation about such matters as his sexuality, religious beliefs, and whether the works attributed to him were written by others. Shakespeare produced most of his known work between 1590 and 1613. His early plays were mainly comedies and histories, genres he raised to the peak of sophistication and artistry by the end of the sixteenth century. Next he wrote mainly tragedies until about 1608, including Hamlet, King Lear, and Macbeth, considered some of the finest examples in the English language. In his last phase, he wrote tragicomedies, also known as romances, and collaborated with other playwrights. Many of his plays were published in editions of varying quality and accuracy during his lifetime, and in 1623 two of his former theatrical colleagues published the First Folio, a collected edition of his dramatic works that included all but two of the plays now recognised as Shakespeare's. Shakespeare was a respected poet and playwright in his own day, but his reputation did not rise to its present heights until the nineteenth century. The Romantics, in particular, acclaimed Shakespeare's genius, and the Victorians hero-worshipped Shakespeare with a reverence that George Bernard Shaw called "bardolatry". In the twentieth century, his work was repeatedly adopted and rediscovered by new movements in scholarship and performance. His plays remain highly popular today and are consistently performed and reinterpreted in diverse cultural and political contexts throughout the world. Source: Wikipedia
William Shakespeare (Romeo and Juliet)