Saturday, August 06, 2016

The Heart of Worship

On my walk today I was brought to tears by the following part of a message by John Piper - The Heart of Worship. It was given in 2009 at The Worship God Conference.
The New Testament is stunningly silent about forms of worship. The Old Testament is not stunningly silent. It is very verbal. I mean, you have got down to the threads and the colours of the threads and the tassels and days and months and seasons and endless detail of how to do it in that regime. And it is gone. Jesus is now the temple. Jesus is now the priest. Jesus is now the blood and the sacrifice. And all the geography is irrelevant and the buildings are irrelevant. I think it is a stunningly silent, frighteningly silent.
The word most commonly used for worship in the Old Testament proskuneo in the Septuagint. Proskuneo is prevalent in the gospels, prevalent in Revelation and virtually absent in the epistles. There are two little exceptions in Hebrews and one in 1 Corinthians where a person falls down.
Why is the main word for worship in the Old Testament gone out of the Church, but there in the Gospels and there in Revelation? And here is the reason I think: Jesus was there in the gospels physically and people could fall down in front of him and they did over and over again. So you got a lot of uses of the word. They ran up. They fell down. They worshipped him. In Revelation, he is right there on the throne. People are really falling down. He is right there. They are falling down. And that word is gone. It is gone. It is not in the epistles. Why? Because he is not anywhere. He is everywhere. You can meet this Jesus in worship anywhere. You don’t go anywhere. You don’t have to move one millimeter of your body to meet this Jesus while you are in a bed dying with cancer.

There is an incredibly strong de-externalization, internalization, intensification of worship onto the heart in the New Testament.

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