Worship Is a Transitive Verb
WORSHIP IS A TRANSITIVE VERB
Should we not remind ourselves that worship is a TRANSITIVE verb? We do not meet to worship (i.e. to experience worship): we aim to worship GOD. “Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only”: there is the heart of the matter. In this area, one must not confuse what is central with byproducts. If you seek peace, you will not find it; if you seek Christ, you will find peace. If you seek joy, you will not find it; if you seek Christ, you will find joy. If you seek holiness, you will not find it; if you seek Christ, you will find holiness. If you seek experiences of worship, you will not find them; if you worship the living God, you will experience something of what is reflected in the Psalms. Worship is a transitive verb, and the most important thing about it is the direct object.
—D. A. Carson, in WORSHIP: ADORATION AND ACTION, edited by D. A. Carson, Chapter 1, “‘Worship the Lord Your God’: The Perennial Challenge.” (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 1993), p. 15. ISBN 0-8010-2584-2. Other authors in this volume include David Peterson, Edmund Clowney, Roger Beckwith, Alistair Brown, and Miroslav Volf. Highly recommended.
Have a great week.
Director, Institute for Christian Worship
School of Church Music and Worship
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
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