Schaffer's "Only You"

Today's Worship Quote of the Week is another prayer/poem by Ulrich Schaffer. Perhaps we could call this a modern-day psalm. Have you written a psalm lately?

My wish is
to come only to You,
to put aside and reject everything else
to stand before You
and to wait.

Not to waste my time anymore
with words and actions
that don't count before You
and make me dishonest.

To order my life in a new way,
to consider what forms me,
and how others are formed through me
and then to reject or emphasize more.

Let it become visible in my life
that you are the pearl
for which I will give up everything.

That in You is my treasure
And my heart.

- Ulrich Schaffer, Greater Than Our Hearts: Prayers and Reflections (New York City: Harper and Row, 1981).


Do you hear the words of the scriptures in this poem? Of course, the "pearl" and the "treasure" come from Matthew 13:45-46 and Matthew 6:21, but which lines are echoes of these other passages: Psalm 25:5, Psalm 27:14, Psalm 100:3, Matthew 5:16, Luke 14:26, John 12:25, 2 Corinthians 5:17, and Philippians 3:7-8? The list could go on and on.

Far too often, for me, Jesus is only one of my treasures. He's a pearl of great price among many other wonderful possessions that compete for my attention, affection and worship. This poem/prayer/psalm gives me a bold challenge to "reject or emphasize more."

Have a great week!

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

Lewis on the Efficacy of Prayer

Here we have another Worship Quote of the Week on the topic of "prayer" from C. S. Lewis.

"Prayer is either a sheer illusion or a personal contact between embryonic, incomplete persons (ourselves) and the utterly concrete Person. Prayer in the sense of petition, asking for things, is a small part of it; confession and penitence are its threshold, adoration its sanctuary, the presence and vision and enjoyment of God its bread and wine. In it God shows Himself to us. That He answers prayer is a corollary - not necessarily the most important one - from that revelation. What He does is learned from what He is."

- C. S. Lewis, "The Efficacy of Prayer," in The World's Last Night and Other Essays, 1959.

(Open Book) Quiz on the above Lewis quote:
1. Threshold of prayer = __________
2. Sanctuary of prayer = __________
3. Bread and wine of prayer = __________
4. Where can I spend some valuable time? __________

Have a great week!

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

Packer on The Lord's Prayer

Today's WORSHIP QUOTE OF THE WEEK is part of J.I. Packer's commentary on the first phrase of The Lord's Prayer.

"Were we left to ourselves, any praying we did would both start and end with ourselves, for our natural self-centeredness knows no bounds. Indeed, much pagan praying of this kind goes on among supposedly Christian people. But Jesus' pattern prayer, which is both crutch, road, and walking lesson for the spiritually lame like ourselves, tells us to start with God: for God matters infinitely more than we do. So "thy" is the keyword of the opening three petitions, and the first request of all is "hallowed (holy, sanctified) be THY NAME" - which is the biggest and the most basic request of the whole prayer. Understand it and make it your own, and you have unlocked the secret of both prayer and life.”

-- J. I. Packer, from Chapter 5 of I Want to be a Christian, Tyndale House Publishers, 1977.

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

Lewis on Patches of Godlight

The WORSHIP QUOTE OF THE WEEK turns once again to the wisdom of C.S. Lewis.

"We – or at least I – shall not be able to adore God on the highest occasions if we have learned no habit of doing so on the lowest. At best, our faith and reason will tell us that He is adorable, but we shall not have found Him so, not have 'tasted and seen.' Any patch of sunlight in a wood will show you something about the sun which you could never get from reading books on astronomy. These pure and spontaneous pleasures are 'patches of Godlight' in the woods of experience."

- C.S. Lewis, Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer, San Diego: Mariner, 2002.


Let's keep looking for the "patches of Godlight." Let's keep responding to the God who shines.  (John 1)

Have a great week!

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

Volf on Adoration and Action

Today’s WORSHIP QUOTE is another that points to the “both/and” of authentic Christian worship—a lifestyle of obedient service and a heart of thankful adoration.

Christian worship consists both in obedient service to God and in the joyful praise of God. Both of these elements are brought together in Hebrews 13:15-16, a passage that comes close to giving a definition of Christian worship: “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” The sacrifice of praise and the sacrifice of good works are two fundamental aspects of the Christian way of being-in-the-world. They are at the same time the two constitutive elements of Christian worship: authentic Christian worship takes place in a rhythm of adoration and action.

—Miroslav Volf, “Worship as Adoration and Action: Reflections on a Christian Way of Being-in-the-World,” Chapter 13 in Worship: Adoration and Action, edited by D. A. Carson, (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 1993), p. 207. ISBN 0-8010-2584-2.

This same chapter is also included in a newer volume, Worship at the Next Level: Insight from Contemporary Voices, edited by Tim A. Dearborn and Scott Coil. (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2004), p. 35. ISBN 0-8010-9167-5. This volume will be easier to find.

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