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.

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.

Temple on the Definition of Worship

Have you ever tried to come up with a one-sentence definition of worship? Here's one by a noted English cleric of the last century.

To worship is to quicken the conscience by the holiness of God, to feed the mind with the truth of God, to purge the imagination by the beauty of God, to open the heart to the love of God, to devote the will to the purpose of God.

-William Temple (1881-1944), Archbishop of Canterbury from 1942 to 1944.


Holy Lord, quicken my conscience, feed my mind, purge my imagination, and open my heart to your love as I devote my will to your purpose. Amen!

Have a great week!

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