You Are What You Worship

Recently, I have been studying the formative affects of Christian worship. Are we, the worshipers, shaped by our worship and if so, how are we being shaped? Or is Christian worship just something we do in order to please, or worse yet, appease God's desire to be worshiped? What is our understanding of worship?

To answer these questions let us turn to Psalm 115 (NIV)
2 "Why do the nations say,
    “Where is their God?”
Our God is in heaven;
    he does whatever pleases him.
But their idols are silver and gold,
    made by human hands.
They have mouths, but cannot speak,
    eyes, but cannot see.
They have ears, but cannot hear,
    noses, but cannot smell.
They have hands, but cannot feel,
    feet, but cannot walk,
    nor can they utter a sound with their throats.
8 Those who make them will be like them,
    and so will all who trust in them.

Never mind the univocality of what scripture has to say about worship or what all of Church history says about it. This single passage alone tells us that worship, sacred or secular, is formative. At the most basic level, we are formed (or are being formed) into what we worship. We are never not worshipping, which means we are never not being formed.

This begs the question, what do I worship? More specifically, what does my imagination naturally dwell on? Where do I spend the majority of my time, money, or resources? What do I tend to talk about with those around me? What do I love?  The answers to these questions will tell us what we worship and they will give us a picture of who we are becoming.

To further explore this idea I recommend reading James K.A. Smith's two volumes, Desiring The Kingdom and Imagining The Kingdom. They are heavy sledding, but well worth it. Or you may simply watch the previously posted video for a cursory view of Smith's observations regarding the formative nature of worship.


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