Classic and contemporary excerpts.

Why Worship?

Worship is not, and never has been, something people attend in order to be entertained or fed. Worship can be entertaining. Worship can be richly nourishing. I have pleasant memories of worship being both of those things to me. But those are not the reasons God calls us to worship.

Douglas J. Brouwer in “Singing in a Presbyterian Congregation” (Perspectives, February 1992)

The Gift Of Grumbling

A heavy wagon was being dragged along a country lane by a team of oxen. The axles groaned and creaked terribly, when the oxen turning around thus addressed the wheels, “Hey there, why do you make so much noise? We bear all the labor, and we—not you—ought to cry out!” Those complain first in our churches who have the least to do. The gift of grumbling is largely dispensed among those who have no other talents, or who keep what they have wrapped up in a napkin.

—Charles Spurgeon in

The Quotable Spurgeon

I Am God’S Wheat

I am God’s wheat.

May I be ground by the teeth of the wild beasts,

Until I become the fine white bread

That belongs to Christ.

—Ignatius of Antioch in

Prayers of the Martyrs

Prodigals All

Our addictions make us cling to what the world proclaims as the keys to self-fulfillment: accumulation of wealth and power; attainment of status and admiration; lavish consumption of food and drink; and sexual gratification without distinguishing between lust and love. The addicted life can aptly be designated a life lived in “a distant country.” Beneath it all is the great rebellion, the unspoken curse: “I wish you were dead.”

—Henri J. M. Nouwen in The Return of the Prodigal

As We Think

We cannot measure spiritual force by rules of philosophy or definitions of theology any more than by a carpenter’s rule ...

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