Eugene Peterson

Christ Holds It All Together

Today's WORSHIP QUOTE is that fabulous section (9 verses) from the first chapter of Paul's letter to the Christians in the town of Colosse. Paul wants his readers to know that Jesus is not just important, he's all important. He's the appropriate object of our love, devotion and worship. Here goes!

CHRIST HOLDS IT ALL TOGETHER
We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at this Son and see God's original purpose in everything created. For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank of angels - everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him. He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment. And when it comes to the church, he organizes and holds it together, like a head does a body.

He was supreme in the beginning and - leading the resurrection parade - he is supreme in the end. From beginning to end he's there, towering far above everything, everyone. So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding. Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe - people and things, animals and atoms - get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down form the Cross.

You yourselves are a case study of what he does. At one time you all had your backs turned to God, thinking rebellious thoughts of him, giving him trouble every chance you got. But now, by giving himself completely at the Cross, actually dying for you, Christ brought you over to God's side and put your lives together, whole and holy in his presence. You don't walk away from a gift like that! You stay grounded and steady in that bond of trust, constantly tuned into the Message, careful not to be distracted or diverted. There is no other Message - just this one. Every creature under heaven gets this same Message.

- Paul the Apostle, Colossions 1:15-23, from THE MESSAGE: The New Testament in Contemporary English, by Eugene H. Peterson, NavPress, 1993.

Have a great week,
Chip Stam


To learn more about Chip Stam and his Worship Quote of the Week, click below.

The Tax Man

The Worship Quote of the Week comes from one of Jesus' parables and deals with our attitude in prayer. 

THE STORY OF THE TAX MAN AND THE PHARISEE (from Luke 18).
He told his next story to some who were complacently pleased with themselves over their moral performance and looked down their noses at the common people: "Two men went up to the Temple to pray, one a Pharisee, the other a tax man. The Pharisee posed and prayed like this: 'Oh, God, I thank you that I am not like other people--robbers, crooks, adulterers, or, heaven forbid, like this tax man. I fast twice a week and tithe on all my income.'

"Meanwhile the tax man, slumped in the shadows, his face in his hands, not daring to look up, said, 'God, give mercy. Forgive me, a sinner.'"

Jesus commented, "This tax man, not the other, went home made right with God. If you walk around with your nose in the air, you're going to end up flat on your face, but if you're content to be simply yourself, you will become more than yourself." 

(from *THE MESSAGE: The New Testament in
Contemporary Language,* by Eugene Peterson, NavPress, 1993)

What would Jesus say about our quickness to criticize others, what I call the "us-and-them" factor?

Have a great week,

Chip Stam


To learn more about Chip Stam and his Worship Quote of the Week, click below.

Life of God-Worship

Here's another WORSHIP QUOTE from the Sermon on the Mount, this time from chapter 6 of Matthew's gospel.

First, how good is your memory?

". . . for where your treasure is, there ____________ ."

Here's the way this section reads in THE MESSAGE. Notice the heading that Eugene Peterson puts on these verses.

A LIFE OF GOD-WORSHIP
"Don't hoard treasure down here where it gets eaten by moths and corroded by rust or - worse! - stolen by burglars. Stockpile treasure in heaven, where it is safe from moth and rust and burglars. It's obvious, isn't it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.

Your eyes are windows into your body. If you open your eyes wide in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light. If you live squinty-eyed in greed and distrust, your body is a dank cellar. If you pull the blinds on your windows, what a dark life you will have!

You can't worship two gods at once. Loving one god, you'll end up hating the other. Adoration of one feeds contempt for the other. You can't worship God and Money both.

If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don't fuss about what's on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life that the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds."

- Matthew 6:19-24 from THE MESSAGE: The New Testament in Contemporary English, by Eugene H. Peterson, NavPress, 1993.

Have a great week of God-worship,

Chip Stam


To learn more about Chip Stam and his Worship Quote of the Week, click below.