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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Worship as a Gift

I love my wife. She may not be "God's gift to mankind", but there is no doubt that she is God's gift to me. She is suited to me. We talk about just about everything, enjoy each other's company, share with each other, appreciate each other. We don't seem to suffer from the same maladies that so many others endure like conflict over finances or sex. We are just right for each other. I love her dearly.

Sometimes when I'm away from her I'll find myself pining for her. Perhaps that's not the right word, but that's how it feels. I long to be with her. I just want to be in her presence. I want to touch her hand and tell her that I love her. It engrosses my thoughts, almost mandating that I do so. You see, my love for my wife is not complete, not fulfilled, until it is expressed. I need to let her know that I love her to satisfy a necessary part of my love for her. And it's not that she doesn't know if I don't tell her or show her. It's not "news". It is something in me that requires it. I have to tell her.

God demands that His creation praise Him. To many, that sounds like egomania. Even believers sometimes struggle with this idea that God demands worship. At least we, as believers, do worship Him, but there can be this nagging question in the back of our heads, "Why does God demand worship? Isn't it some sort of megalomania? Is God really the ultimate egomaniac?" According to the dictionary, megalomania is a mental illness marked by delusions of grandeur. Egomania is an obsessive love for oneself and regard for one's own needs. God, then, cannot be a megalomaniac because, well, His grandeur is no delusion. He is an egomaniac in a sense because His love for Himself is well documented. That is, God is indeed self-centered because He is the center of all that is. We are not, so we must not be. He is, so He must be. We are to be God-centered because He is the center. So in Him and in Him alone is egomania accurate and correct.

But I don't think that's the end of the story. If we are His creatures created to bring Him glory, then isn't it in our best interest that we ... bring Him glory? If He is rightly God-centered, ought not we also to be God-centered? And if, as in the example of loving my wife, I am not fully satisfied until I express my love, is it not in my best interest to do so? As such, isn't our act of worship, commanded by God, an act of satisfaction for us? Isn't that command, then, a loving command to give us the best? Doesn't that make the worship of God a gift to us as well as to Him? Well, I'll tell you what. Try that out in church today. See if worshiping God doesn't bring you a deep sense of joy. Then you think about these questions.

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