Best on the imago Dei

What are the implications for worship that come from knowing we are created in God's image? Today's Worship Quote comes from Harold Best's book Music Through the Eyes of Faith.

A Christian worldview maintains that God, the one and only Creator, is alone worthy of worship. Recognizing that God created us in his image, it further maintains that a unique aspect of that imaging lies in the capability of the two beings to communicate with each other, to enjoy each other's presence, to love each other without end, and to be at work continually together: the one sovereignly creating, upholding what has been created and revealing himself to it, the other responding through worship, adoration, stewardly work, and creativity.

Such communion and worship are possible only because of the unique relationship between Creator and creature: the one is created in the image of the other. The difference is one of infinity and infinitude: the Creator is infinitely more-than, we are finite and less-than. Even so, the relationship is based on kind: we are created in God's image. Hence worship is not a one-sided affair, the one only getting and the other only giving. True, the Creator, by his very transcendence, cannot be but worshiped. And the creature, imago Dei, cannot help but worship. True, the worth-ship of the one naturally woos the worship of the other. But this relationship is also an exchanging of gifts, because both are givers. This is a willing union of all-sufficiency and dependence, sovereignty and subordination, prevenient love and responding love, transcendent worthiness and temporal worth. We risk a paradox: while the Creator calls for worship, the worshiper would rush to worship even if he did not call.

- Harold Best, Music Through the Eyes of Faith (New York: Harper Collins, 1993), 144.

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

Peterson on the Shape of Creation

Today's Worship Quote is another from Eugene Peterson's book Answering God, a wonderful study of how to use the Psalms as tools for prayer.  Peterson was Professor of Spiritual Theology at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Prayer recovers the shape of our creation. We are created in "the image of God." We are declared, on the authority of Genesis, "good." We, and everyone and everything around us have this basic beauty, this wondrous goodness. But we very often don't feel at all good. We do not perceive ourselves "in the image of God." We are conscious of failure and inadequacy; we experience criticism and rejection; we feel lousy. The memory of our good creation is obscured in a thick fog of failure and inadequacy.

Prayer is a reentry into the reality of our good creation. The Psalms, all spoken out of this ordered and purposed beauty, activate our memories of creation. Always the Genesis milieu is implicit; sometimes it is explicit. When we pray the Psalms we consciously enter the reality of our good creation.

Our lives are bracketed by God: "O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is thy name in all the earth!" is the first last line of both Psalm 8 and of our lives. Within the brackets-and there is nothing that is not within the brackets-our creation takes place.

- Eugene H. Peterson, Answering God: The Psalms as Tools for Prayer, (New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1989).

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

Dudley-Smith's "As Water to the Thirsty"

The scriptures are full of literary images that attempt to describe the vastness of God's love. Today's WORSHIP QUOTE OF THE WEEK is a hymn text by Timothy Dudley-Smith, a retired Bishop in the Church of England. Here we encounter some "fresh" descriptions of God's relationship with his people.


As water to the thirsty,
as beauty to the eyes,
as strength that follows weakness,
as truth instead of lies;
as songtime and springtime
and summertime to be,
   so is my Lord,
   my living Lord,
so is my Lord to me.

Like calm in place of clamour,
like peace that follows pain,
like meeting after parting,
like sunshine after rain;
like moonlight and starlight
and sunlight on the sea,
   so is my Lord,
   my living Lord,
so is my Lord to me.

As sleep that follows fever,
as gold instead of gray,
as freedom after bondage,
as sunrise to the day;
as home to the traveler
and all we long to see,
  so is my Lord,
  my living Lord,
so is my Lord to me.

-Timothy Dudley-Smith, from Lift Every Heart: Collected Hymns 1961-1983 and Some Early Poems, Hope Publishing Co., 1984.

© 1984 Hope Publishing Company, Carol Stream, IL 60188.
All rights reserved. Used by permission.
For permission to copy or use this hymn, please contact:
Hope Publishing Company, 380 S. Main Place, Carol Stream, IL 60188
Phone: 1-800-323-1049 Fax: (630) 665-3200


Timothy Dudley-Smith admits that this hymn owes something of its origin to the power of Simon and Garfunkel's classic phrase "Like a Bridge Over Troubled Water." In the life of faith, what are the similes that best depict the many facets of Christ's love and care for his people? Here's a little Wednesday morning Bible study for you. The poet provides the following scripture passages to support the images of the Lord that are used in "As Water to the Thirsty."

Psalm 63:1, Psalm 27:4, Psalm 28:7, 1 Thessalonias 1:9, Exodus. 15:2, Song of Solomon 2.

1 Kings 19:11-12, Hebrews 13:20, John 20:11-18, Revelation 1:16, Psalm 104:2.

Psalm 4:8, Matthew 17:2, Psalm 146:7, Malachi 4:2, Luke 16:11-24.

Have a great week!

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