May 6, 2020 · C.E. Carter
True worship values and treasures God above all things, in spirit and in truth, as infinitely great, infinitely loving, infinitely powerful, infinitely knowing. Worship is the most important activity that we can engage in as humans. It does not enhance life, it is how we ought to aspire to live at every moment. All of our activities, from our work, to our relationships, to our endeavors, to our thoughts, ought to be framed in the soul by the context of God’s majesty. That is precisely why Christians have “Christian Values”. “Honor my Father”, Christ says, and we who are in Christ aspire to do so, if only faintly, for we love the Father, and the Father loves us. We love the Law of God, not because by loving it it saves us, but because we are saved by the Lawgiver, and we love Him for His greatness, and by connection we love His instruction to us. All of life, for the Christian, is worship.
The gathering of God’s people to worship Him in spirit and truth has been deemed by our society during this time of crisis to be “non-essential”. Gone are the days when America was a Christian nation, when her ethics were established in the worship of Jesus of Nazareth, and when the President would commission the nation to pray during times of crisis or tragedy. Instead, our country sees “worship” as a practice which enhances a fundamentally secular existence, like exercise or entertainment does, which can be conveniently removed for the sake of secular prerogatives. A secular nation believes that worship of Almighty God is impotent to stop real dangers which face it. Instead, the secularists believe that by their own brilliance and political might, they can save such a nation.
When COVID-19 showed signs of slowing, New York State governor Andrew Cuomo declared, “God did not do that. Faith did not do that. Destiny did not do that, a lot of pain and suffering did that.”
I confess my own inferior worship. This situation comes in waves, each worse than the next, and more often than not I am completely discouraged and exhausted from the pandemic, the shifting sands of politics, and the seeds of tyranny which I believe are being sown. It is God who must continually gather me up, dust me off, and renew me with strength to carry on forward. When we are right in our worship (or indeed, if we are even close to right) we contextualize our grief, anger, and confusion, with the vast greatness of God. We honor God for who He is, as the one who will have vengeance on the Godless, who is sovereign over all things, from Whom are all things, and for Whom are all things. Christian worship is where the battles of history are waged, foremost, with the gathering of believers and the preaching of the word of God. Thus, attack on worship itself is an attack on God’s primary means of working in the world. We too, must be careful not to mock God with secularism.