Friday, April 9, 2010

Worship and Faith

Hi All,

On the subject of worship, what is worship, and who/what is deserving of said worship, I'd like to offer my $0.02 as well, and bring in one of my favorite [protestant] theologians, Paul Tillich as well.

Worship to me is an indescribable act. Ok, so that might be a little anti-climatic, no ? Alright, I'll attempt to describe why I feel it is so indescribable. Worship is not only a physical, but a mental, emotional, spiritual act or process which one shows or professes his undying/unfailing allegiance or faith towards a supreme being, or figure, or thing. It is indescribable, because the act for each person is different. What may be worship to one person may not necessarily be 'worship' to the next, even though it is. Worship, just like the American landscape is diverse. Through the spirituous AME churches of the south, to the orthodox nature of some churches in the Mid-West, to the charismatic worship of some in the western/coastal region. Its style varies greatly, even among different parishes of the same denomination. Contemporary/Charismatic/Traditional versions of the same Sunday service can be found at a lot of churches.

But worship need not occur always in a church. Worship is also a way to glorify something or someone. Some do this at home in private, in small groups, or with just another person. Worship can even be the act of planting flowers or trees. This can serve as a testament to the beauty of nature, the spirit of God, which is manifest in this plant, or tree, or flower.

Worship is a vessel by which we show our faith. Our ultimate faith in this person, or thing which we have summarily deemed worthy of our worship. But, this begs the question, what is faith ? When people often mention faith, they say things like, " I have faith in you, I have faith in the system, I have faith it will work." However, to use the term 'faith' in such a manner only dilutes it from is most beautiful context, that which describes the ultimate concern of a person. This is the way Tillich describes it in his book, "The Dynamics of Faith." He suggests that it is wrong to have 'faith (ultimate concern) in corporeal objects, or mere objects of mortal nature. That which is deserving of your faith, your ultimate concern is that 'higher power' in which we place our trust, our faith. It is that thing which demands from us our complete allegiance, our entire being, and our unfailing love.

It is for this reason, that no celebrity, or person, or thing is deserving of worship, but God, and God alone. For we can only truly worship the things we have true faith in, and the only thing we can truly have faith in is God.

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