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Worship, Politics, Liturgy

Published for Real Life Worship, 2008


“We’ll now have a time of worship”, we say as we enter 15 minutes of chorus singing at 11am on a Sunday, but rarely does the musical interlude end with the words “and now that the worship is over we can get on with the service”.  Sometimes what we mean by ‘worship’ is very specific.  At other times however, we recognise that every time we hand over a credit card, book a holiday, make a phone call, we are worshipping.  Is there a simple way of being clear in our talk about worship?


Well, here’s a suggestion.  Worship simply means ‘worthship’, it describes the things in our life to which we attach worth, the things we value and treasure and acknowlege.  Politics, on the other hand, refers to the way that human beings organise themselves around the things to which they attach worth.  The link between the two is what we call ‘liturgy’.  


Sunday morning acts of worship, regardless of what words we use or how we use them, are about liturgy: about being re-focussed upon Jesus Christ (worship), confessing our commitment to him (liturgy), with the inevitable spill over into our lives and world (politics).  Our politics always its roots in worship; Our worship always has political consequences.  Liturgy is the place where this is all made clear.  Or is it more complicated than that?