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Miller on Worship as Duty and Privilege

Today's Worship Quote comes from the opening of Calvin Miller's dramatic work A Requiem for Love, an extended poetic depiction of the Creation narrative. In this excerpt we have a "worship dialogue" between Regis (Adam) and Earthmaker (God).

REGIS:
"Father, I receive Your gift of being, but
You have made me too rich
To name my wealth
And yet too poor
To give you anything of meaning.
I love you with only giftless love."

EARTHMAKER:
"Regis, there is no such thing as 'giftless' love.
The very words accuse each other.
My gift to you is love, but
Worship is your gift to Me.
And Oh, most glorious it is!
Worship always calls me 'Father' and
Makes us both rich with a common joy.
Worship Me, for only this great gift
Can set you free from the killing love of self,
And prick your fear with valiant courage
To fly in hope through moments of despair.
Worship will remind you
That no man knows completeness in himself.
Worship will teach you to speak your name,
When you've forgotten who you are.
Worship is duty and privilege,
Debt and grand inheritance at once.
Worship, therefore, at those midnights
When the stars hide.
Worship in the storms till love
Makes thunder whimper and grow quiet
And listen to your whispered hymns.
Worship and be free."

-Calvin Miller, A Requiem for Love, Word Publishing, 1989.


CHIP’S THOUGHTS

Miller is also the author of The Singer trilogy. I highly recommend these books to you, but encourage you not to read them when you are in a hurry. This is language that needs time to breath.

Have a great week!


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

The Valley of Vision on The Gift of Gifts

O Source of all good,


What shall I render to thee for the gift of gifts, 
thine own dear Son, begotten, not created,
my Redeemer, proxy, surety, substitute,
his self-emptying incomprehensible,
his infinity of love beyond the heart's grasp.


Herein is wonder of wonders:
he came below to raise me above,
he was born like me that I might become like him.


Herein is love;
when I cannot rise to him he draws near on 
wings of grace,
to raise me to himself.


Herein is power;
when Deity and humanity were infinitely apart 
he united them in indissoluble unity, 
the uncreated and the created.


Herein is wisdom;
when I was undone, with no will to return to him,
and no intellect to devise recovery,
he came, God-incarnate, to save me to the uttermost, 
as man to die my death, 
to shed satisfying blood on my behalf,
to work out a perfect righteousness for me.


O God, take me in spirit to the watchful shepherds, 
and enlarge my mind;
let me hear good tidings of great joy,
and hearing, believe, rejoice, praise, adore,
my conscience bathed in an ocean of repose,
my eyes uplifted to a reconciled Father,
place me with ox, ass, camel, goat,
to look with them upon my Redeemer's face,
and in him account myself delivered from sin;
let me with Simeon clasp the new-born child 
to my heart,
embrace him with undying faith,
exulting that he is mine and I am his.


In him thou hast given me so much 
that heaven can give no more.

——Arthur Bennett, editor. VALLEY OF VISION: A COLLECTION OF PURITAN PRAYERS AND DEVOTIONS. Carlisle, Pennsylvania: Banner of Truth Trust, 2003 (first published in 1975), p. 28. ISBN 0-85151-821-4.


CHIP'S THOUGHTS: 

In the preface to this volume, the author (who calls himself the editor) writes, "A poetic form has been adopted throughout as an aid to easier comprehension and utterance. Each prayer consists of a number of main clauses with subsidiary clauses that illuminate and enlarge the subject. In this way and opportunity is provided for pauses and reflections. . . This book is not intended to be read as a prayer manual. The soul learns to pray by praying; for prayer is communion with a transcendent and immanent God who on the ground of his nature and attributes calls forth all the powers of the redeemed soul in acts of total adoration and dedication.

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