Thursday, March 21, 2013

Weeping Worship

Romans 12:1 "I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship."
1 Corinthians 10:31 "So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."

Thus, all of life ought to be worship; every act of life, an act of worship.

Romans 12:15 "Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep."
1 Samuel 30:1-6 "Now when David and his men came to Ziklag on the third day, the Amalekites had made a raid against the Negeb and against Ziklag. They had overcome Ziklag and burned it with fire and taken captive the women and all who were in it, both small and great. They killed no one, but carried them off and went their way. And when David and his men came to the city, they found it burned with fire, and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive. Then David and the people who were with him raised their voices and wept until they had no more strength to weep. David’s two wives also had been taken captive, Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel. And David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because all the people were bitter in soul, each for his sons and daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God."

A note: when I was working at the problem of evil, I began with two premises. First, any solution must let evil be evil, and second, any solution must not let evil remain evil. In other words, what is evil must be called evil in its time, but it must be redeemed.

It make no sense to cry if there is nothing wrong. If evil just happens, then there evil is not something wrong, it is merely something. Crying is, therefore, an intrinsically hopeful action because it states that there is a problem. To say a thing is a problem is to say that there is, at least hypothetically, a solution.

I am currently, in what spare time I have, working at developing an ethical theory. In that process the question was put to me whether one ought to cry whenever one is able, even in public. Well, what should the church look like? Or, in other words: why not? In the church, we ought to welcome honest expression of emotion. "In the church"--I do not mean in the morning worship service only, but among fellow believers, wherever we are. What then, about in public? Should we be willing to cry even in the grocery store? What is the worst that could happen? If someone asks why, you do not necessarily have to explain all that is causing it, simply "I am having a hard day/week/month/year/life." And then, if you can, to express the hope within you, "but I know that it is for the glory of God, and that he will make all things right." Why are you crying? Because God will make all things right. The most amazing example: I have sinned--but Christ died to redeem me.

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