Worship Centers

The writings of Eugene Peterson always bless me. In his text on Revelation, Reversed Thunder, he speaks about the worshipful nature of Revelation 4 & 5. The text offers the last word on worship in five parts: worship centers, gathers, reveals, sings, and affirms. Here he explains what he means by the “centering” component of worship. It was too good not to share:

First in the vision is a throne: “A throne stood in heaven.” A throne centers authority. Worship is centering. The word throne appears in nearly every chapter of the Revelation (the exceptions are Rev. 9, 10, 15, 17, 18). Twice it is used to refer to false centers of authority, Satan’s throne (Rev. 2:13) and the beast’s throne (Rev. 16:10).

In worship God gathers his people to himself as center. “The Lord reigns” (Ps. 93:1). Worship is a meeting at the center so that our lives are centered in God and not lived eccentrically. We worship so that we live in response to and from this center, the living God. Failure to worship consigns us to a life of spasms and jerks, at the mercy of every advertisement, every seduction, every siren. Without worship we live manipulated and manipulating lives. We move in either frightened panic or deluded lethargy as we are, in turn, alarmed by specters and soothed by placebos. If there is no center, there is no circumference. People who do not worship are swept into a vast restlessness, epidemic in the world, with no steady direction and no sustaining purpose.

People who do not worship live in a vast shopping mall where they go from shop to shop, expending enormous sums of energy and making endless trips to meet first this need and then that appetite, this whim and that fancy. Life lurches from one partial satisfaction to another, interrupted by ditches of disappointment. Motion is fueled by the successive illusions that purchasing this wardrobe, driving that car, eating this meal, drinking that beverage will center life and give it coherence.

May you worship your Creator God today and, in so doing, find your center.

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