The Danger in Waking Up to Worship

Labberton comes to the end of The Dangerous Act of Worship with the answer to the question that has been gnawing at the reader from the first page; how? We have been reminded on each page that everything that matters is at stake in worship. The nudge that opens our eyes to see the world as God does comes through worship. Our hearts rent for justice are a result of worship. Labberton repeats his earlier assertion that we are to be people who heed God’s call to live out our worship in such a way that justice becomes an identifying mark, a testimony to Jesus and His transformative power. And yet, we remain asleep, drowsy from a lack of direction. He offers four concrete steps to rousing ourselves.

First, we must decide for ourselves to worship fully and faithfully. Worship is not measured in attendance and praise singing, it must be a way of life. A worshipful life involves full submission to His Lordship, to dying a little bit to gain a bit more of Him. In doing so our eyes open wider and wider, preparing us to…

Second, choose to see the injustice around us that cries out to be addressed by the transformative power of Jesus Christ. As our blurry vision clears, we must make the effort to focus it on the hungry, the thirsty, the imprisoned, and the oppressive forces that put God’s people in those positions. We see it and as an act of worship…

Third, we choose to engage it. It does no good to simply see injustice, to have viewed it for emotional purposes like a painting in a gallery. Unlike walking away from the picture and promptly forgetting the details, Christ’s brothers and sisters should choose to keep the injustice in clear view. We examine it from all angles in order to restore justice to the situation from as many perspectives as possible. Our vision is filled with the needs of others, trusting in God for our own, so that we can worshipfully…

Four, choose to actively love others as Jesus Himself loves them. We will choose to love in full acceptance and in forgiveness. “When we choose to love in the name of Christ for the sake of justice, we allow our compassion to take us to people and to places for the sake of the other person, in advocacy for their need, out of a compassion for their suffering, even when it means sacrifice and suffering for us.”

Is our worship dangerous to our lives as we have known them? If not, the moment to begin is now. We have the promises of the Father for the future but a vocation to fulfill here in this broken world. It is through true worshippers that justice is restored. Labberton concludes with these questions that we must all ask ourselves:

Are we who follow Jesus Christ believing and acting out what God considers the matters of first importance? Or are we, as I fear, asleep to the real passions of God and the real needs of the world? More specifically, do our lives and practices of worship lead us to live in the ways that matter to God?

Peace be with you.