worshiping God

…a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.

John 4:23-24

Worship of God is a theme in Revelation (see here, for example). It got me to thinking. I wonder just how much we truly worship God.

Worship is ascribing worthship to something. In scripture and Christian tradition, only God is worthy of worship. Although sometimes that language has been used for lesser objects. In the Great Tradition, veneration is giving special honor, even reverence to objects not worthy of worship. I am among those who would not be comfortable joining other Christians in doing that. But we naturally do that to some extent to those we highly esteem. This is set in certain Christian traditions for “saints.” Of course God alone is worthy of full, complete worship. And really, that can come natural too, as we seek to give our full attention to God: who God is, and what God has done.

When we are talking about God, we are referring to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We worship the Father in and through the Son by the Holy Spirit. But we can worship all three Persons of the Trinity, since God is one, and the Father, with Jesus and the Spirit are, or we might say is God.

To worship God might come naturally so to speak, as we focus on God. Of course it is what we call supernatural, beyond nature, since we need the help of the Holy Spirit to do so. We can only begin to gather in our minds and hearts just who God is by the Spirit. Then we worship God in our hearts through song and ascriptions such as we find in Revelation, the Psalms, and elsewhere in scripture.

Worship includes offering ourselves to the One who is deserving of everything. By creation and redemption, as well as simply who God is, God is worthy. We join in this eternal singing and song, and giving of our lives, in and through Jesus.

the neglected Person of the Trinity

The Holy Spirit, called the third Person of the Trinity: the Triune God- doesn’t call attention to itself/himself. The Spirit glorifies the Son who in turn glorifies the Father, all sharing in the same glory which is inherent in God alone. The Spirit has been characterized as the shy Person of the Trinity and likened to the Love which passes between the Father and the Son. And all Three in their Eternal Oneness are said to be in a Perichoretic dance, each not only in Communion, but in Union with the other.

The First/Old Testament which sets the stage for everything has been said to be the age of the Father. The Final/New Testament begins with the age of the Son, when Christ came and was present with us as God-in-the-flesh. And through his death and resurrection, and after his ascension, the age of the Holy Spirit in the Spirit’s descent in power upon the church remains to the present day until Christ returns.

Actually it is important to think in Trinitarian terms, since God in God’s Oneness, can’t be separated. God is revealed as the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Through Jesus we know the Father, in fact Jesus said that to see him is to see the Father. Through the Spirit, we know Jesus.  And the Father gives the Spirit through the Son. And so the Triune God wonderfully works as Diversity in Unity.

Tomorrow is Pentecost Sunday, and as my friend Allan R. Bevere points out in a most interesting post, this ought to be for the church a day on par with Christmas and Easter. We remember and celebrate the coming of the Blessed Holy Spirit in whom dwells the Father and the Son. New life and resurrection power comes through the Blessed Holy Spirit.

We do well to bow down and cry out in worship of the Trinity, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord God of Hosts.” And to remember that our life existence in creation and new creation, as well as our Help is in the Blessed Holy Spirit: God.

See another interesting post by Stephen Bilynskyj which I think helps us get a nice glimpse into the work of the Spirit in the church.