love

Augustine on 'What Do I Love When I Love My God?'

What Do I Love When I Love My God? Today’s WORSHIP QUOTE dates from the fifth century. It is from the quill of Augustine, Bishop of Hippo in Northern Africa, and explores a believer’s love for God. Augustine asks, “What is it that I love when I love my God?” [Note: Please be sure to see the AUGUSTINE JAZZ BONUS at the bottom of this message. Did he say, “Augustine Jazz Bonus”? Yes, I did. Please take a look.]

WHAT DO I LOVE WHEN I LOVE MY GOD?
What is it then that I love when I love you? Not bodily beauty, and not temporal glory, not the clear shining light, lovely as it is to our eyes, not the sweet melodies of many-moded songs, not the soft smell of flowers and ointments and perfumes, not manna and honey, not limbs made for the body’s embrace, not these do I love when I love my God.

Yet I do love a certain light, a certain voice, a certain odor, a certain food, a certain embrace when I love my God: a light, a voice, an odor, a food, an embrace for the man within me, where his light, which no embrace can contain, floods into my soul; where he utters words that time does not speed away; where he sends forth an aroma that no wind can scatter; where he provides food that no eating can lessen; where he so clings that satiety does not sunder us. This is what I love when I love my God.


—Augustine of Hippo (354-430) from THE CONFESSIONS OF ST. AUGUSTINE, Book 10, Chapter 6, translated by John K. Ryan. Garden City, New York: Image Books, 1960, pp. 233-34. Here is the chapter at the Christian Classics Ethereal Library: www.ccel.org/ccel/augustine/confess.xi.vi.html


CHIPS THOUGHT'S

AUGUSTINE JAZZ BONUS: Recently, I was introduced to the music of a wonderful jazz group from Minneapolis—the Jason Harms Quintet. One of the tunes on their new CD is, you guessed it, “What Do I Love? (When I Love My God).” This entire song is available for you to hear at www.jasonharms.com/music.html. I hope you will take a moment to listen to this and some other samples from this terrific CD. Enjoy!


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

Anselm on Desiring God

Today's Worship Quote is from St. Anselm. He served as Archbishop of Canterbury and is sometimes referred to as the "father of scholasticism." He may be most famous for his "ontological proof" - an attempt to prove by logic that God exists.

DESIRING GOD
O Lord our God,
Grant us grace to desire you with our whole heart,
  that so desiring we may seek and find you;
  and so finding you; we may love you;
  and loving you, we may hate those sins from which you
    have redeemed us,
  for the sake of Jesus Christ. Amen.

- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109), Proslogion.


CHIP’S THOUGHTS

Lord, thank you for seeking us before we knew to seek after you. Thank you for loving us long before we ever loved you. Amen!

Have a great week!


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

Hustad on Worship and Relationship

Today's Worship Quote is another that points not to forms of worship, but to worship as an appropriate loving relationship with God (and with others). The author is Donald Hustad.

TRUE WORSHIP IS RELATIONSHIP
How do we minister to and worship God in spirit and truth? Jesus gave us an answer as he quoted words from the Torah which every Jew of his time knew from memory: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength"; then he added, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself" (Mark 12:30-31). Worshiping God and loving God are not absolutely synonymous, but they are closely related, perhaps like opposite sides of a continuous circle. This great commandment says that true worship is determined not so much by the words "traditional" or "contemporary," but by relationship – our relationship with God and our relationship with other persons. Worshiping God begins and ends with loving God more than anything or anyone else in the world. It should be apparent then that no person worships God who does not have a love relationship with God. Further, no person worships God acceptably who is not in loving relationship with other human beings, who are "neighbors."

Don Hustad in True Worship: Reclaiming the Wonder and Majesty, Harold Shaw Publishers, 1998.


CHIP’S THOUGHTS

Lord, thank you for being the initiator of this loving relationship of worship. Help us to respond to your love in spirit and truth. Amen!

Have a great week!


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

Best on Passion for God

Today's Worship Quote is another from Harold Best's book Music Through the Eyes of Faith.

PASSION FOR GOD
Being moved by music is secondary to worshiping God. The Spirit is always to be free to direct our worship, whether the music moves us or not. It is only when being moved by music is coupled to a preceding passion for God that we are truly moved. Behind all of this is the Lord's continuous invitation to come and to continue worship. God wills that all of us worship him. Behind all of these secondary movings - music, art, drama, dance, architecture, atmosphere, and environment - is the primary mover, whose most quiet call and gentlest reminder speak louder than our most elaborate art pieces.

- Harold Best, Music Through the Eyes of Faith (San Francisco, CA: Harper Collins, 1993), 152.


CHIP'S THOUGHTS

There it is again-worship as a response to the love and work of the "primary mover." Note that the author is not speaking against emotion in music; nor is he speaking despairingly against the use of the various fine arts in the worship life of the church. He is merely warning us not to confuse an emotional response to art with a passion for God.

Have a great week!


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

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.

Dudley-Smith on Christ's Enfolding Love

Today's Worship Quote is a poem on the theme of Christian experience and discipleship. I think it would make a good benediction.

MAY THE LOVE OF CHRIST ENFOLD US
May the love of Christ enfold us
    as we walk his way,
his eternal arms uphold us
    even as we pray;
strong in faith beneath his blessing,
every tongue his Name confessing,
every heart his peace possessing,
    this and every day.

May the word of Christ direct us
    as we walk his way,
and his providence protect us
    even as we pray.
May his Spirit's power defend us,
love and joy and peace attend us,
his companionship befriend us,
    this and every day.

May the living Christ renew us
    as we walk his way,
and with gifts of grace endue us
    even as we pray;
send us forth, his banner bearing,
all the truth of God declaring,
Heaven's love for sinners sharing,
    this and every day.

-Timothy Dudley-Smith, from Great is the Glory: 36 New Hymns written between 1993 & 1996, Hope Publishing Company, 1997.

© 1997 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
Email: permission@hopepublishing.com www.hopepublishing.com


CHIP’S THOUGHTS

Here's what the hymn writer says about this poem:
"Though the text is a prayer for ourselves and our own daily walk, it began from thoughts of thankfulness and the desire to write a 'litany of thankfulness' - a task which still lies ahead of me. Note that along with the request that we may know Christ's enfolding, upholding, directing, protecting, defending, befriending, goes the call to mission - 'his Name confessing,' (verse 1), while verse 4 calls us to witness, proclamation and service 'this and every day.'"

May the love of Christ enfold you this and every day.


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

Augustine "Late Have I Loved You"

Today's Worship Quote Of The Week comes from the quill of St. Augustine.

LATE HAVE I LOVED YOU
"Late have I loved you, O Beauty so ancient and so new; late have I loved you! You were within me, and I was outside; and I sought you outside and in my loneliness fell upon those lovely things that you have made. You were with me, but I was not with you ... You called me and cried to me and broke open my deafness; you sent forth your beams and shone upon me and chased away my blindness; you breathed your fragrance upon me, and I drew in my breath and now I pant for you; I tasted you, and now I hunger and thirst for you; you touched me, and I burn for your peace."

- Augustine of Hippo (354-430) from Confessions, as found in Eerdman’s Book of Christian Classics: A Treasury of Christian Writings Through the Centuries, compiled by Veronica Zundel, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1985, p. 23.


CHIP'S THOUGHTS

There is something there that reminds me of the Psalm 42. Take a look! "As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God..."

Pant on!
Have a great day!


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

Pascal on the God of the Christians

Today's WORSHIP QUOTE is from the pen of Blaise Pascal, a seventeenth century Frenchman and one of the foremost mathematicians of his time. While still in his teens he made discoveries in geometry and calculus. He worked out the theory of probability and designed the first mechanical computer. Today there is even a computer language named after him. The list of his scientific accomplishments goes on and on. Here's what this brilliant man, also a noted religious philosopher, said about the Christian's relationship to God.

THE GOD OF THE CHRISTIANS
The God of Christians is not a God who is simply the author of geometrical truths, or the order of the elements; that is the view of the pagans and the Epicureans. He is not merely a God who exercises his providence over the lives and fortunes of men, to bestow on those who worship him a long and happy life.

The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob, the God of Christians is a God of love and comfort, a God who fills the soul and heart of those whom he possesses, a God who makes them conscious of their inward wretchedness, and his infinite mercy; who unites himself to their inmost soul, who fills it with humility and joy, with confidence and love, who renders them incapable of any other end than himself.

- Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), as found in Eerdman’s Book of Christian Classics: A Treasury of Christian Writings Through the Centuries, compiled by Veronica Zundel, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1985, p. 61.


CHIP'S THOUGHTS

Lord, make me aware of my wretchedness. Remind me of your infinite mercy. Fill me with humility and joy, confidence and love. Draw me to my ultimate end - yourself. Amen!

Have a great day!


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

Carroll on the Response to Love

Worship is responding to God. Today's WORSHIP QUOTE is another that pictures our worship as a natural and appropriate response to the Lord's initiative of perfect love. The author is Joseph Carroll.

How To Worship Jesus Christ
By Joseph S. Carroll

RESPONSE OF LOVE TO LOVE
"The Lord Jesus loves us with all His heart. He desires that we love Him with all our heart; and until we do, we will never know the sweetness of His love for us. We will have some faint concept but that is all. With how many people do we share the secrets of our heart and with whom do we share them? We will be intimate with the person we know loves us, the person we know is committed to us, the person who has given himself or herself to us, and with none besides. It is so with our Lord. There must be response of love to love."

- Joseph S. Carroll, How to Worship Jesus Christ, Moody Press, 1984, p. 30.


CHIP'S THOUGHTS

This is why solid biblical preaching is so important to the worship life of the church. We worship best when we are fully aware of God's holiness, our sin, and the amazing grace that is available to us through faith in Jesus Christ.


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

Anselm on Loving God

That I May Know You and Love You

My God,
I pray that I may so know you and love you
that I may rejoice in you.
And if I may not do so fully in this life
let me go steadily on
to the day when I come to that fullness . . .

Meanwhile let my mind meditate on it
let my heart love it
let my mouth preach it
let my soul hunger for it
my flesh thirst for it
and my whole being desire it
until I enter into the joy of my Lord.

- St. Anselm (1033-1109), from PROSLOGION, as found in EERDMANS' BOOK OF CHRISTIAN CLASSICS: A TREASURY OF CHRISTIAN WRITINGS THROUGH THE CENTURIES, compiled by Veronica Zundel, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1985, p. 27.


CHIP'S THOUGHTS

Anselm served as Archbishop of Cantebury and is sometimes referred to as the "father of scholasticism." He may be most famous for his "ontological proof" - an attempt to prove by logic that God exists. Today's WORSHIP QUOTE OF THE WEEK comes from his book PROSLOGION.

Have a great day.

(Originally posted 9/2/1997)


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