GodReflection: Is Worship for God or for Me?
For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have (2 Corinthians 8:12).
In the autobiography of the late Leroy Garrett a Harvard trained theologian and historian of the Stone-Campbell movement, he highlights a principle valued by Alexander Campbell, “the principle of available light.”
He argued that we are judged by our obedience to the light that we have. I like two of Campbell’s summation statements. “No man can be justified today by living in accordance with the knowledge that he had yesterday,” and “I must obey the light which God has given me.”
It seems to me that is not a bad principle to taken into consideration as I assembly with believers to worship. The more I understand the more I grow.
Perhaps as available light shines from the cross on our joint worship experience we can see that our group effort honors God and blesses us.
I live in a time of diverse worship. Because of DNA wiring both participants and leaders worship as unique creations of God.
Artsy people and accountants are wired drastically different. Their hearts connect to God in worship through different channels.
No matter how our hearts connect with the Holy we are all followers of Jesus, thus should strive to place others first in the assembly to insure worship is for God and for each other. With a little give and take shouldn’t that work for all of us?
Back to the principle of available light.
Here is what I think today.
The more I focus on the attitude of Jesus—who came in the image of God—the more Holy light comes to me to navigate life’s trail.
That not only should influence how I treat others each day, it should help me enter into the worship assembly with increased flexibility toward my brothers and sisters in Jesus.
We are all fallible humans who make an attempt to worship Holy God and be an ingredient in the mix that allows each of us to leave the assembly in a better state than we were when we entered.
Let me close this series with a prayer:
Each and every time I worship, whether daily or in the assembly, let me begin with a vision of your perfection and completion. May I contrast all that is You to my own humanness and fallacies.
May I forever be grateful that perfect You love imperfect me. With Your generosity as my guide I want to be a generous worshipper who exudes a generous spirit toward fellow disciples.
From this perspective help my life gush grace toward fellow worshippers.
Surly, worship is not totally about You the Holy God or only about what I receive but about the corporate benefit for You AND the whole assembly.
As I enter the worship assembly help me to worship to the fullest extent of what I understand the Holy wants from me. In so doing, as I want to ooze concern that everyone assembled leaves with cups that overflow.
Reassure me through Your Word, Your Spirit and through my fellow worshipper that when I enter worship with humility the experience is for the Holy, for me, and for others.
I pray through Jesus the Son.
Dr. Gary J. Sorrells
A GodReflection: I Worship with Available Light