Personally, I thought yesterday was a great way to start December. Of course, if it wasn’t I probably wouldn’t admit it 🙂 Here’s the recap from yesterday in the usual format:
Class: John 1:1-18
Sermon: Full & True Worship – Psalm 95
- While we didn’t get as far into John as I’d hoped, and that’ll, unfortunately, mean we’ll probably move quickly through some of the more narrative parts, understanding what a twist John does with the word and concept of logos helps understand not just the introduction, but more of the entire book. We’ll refer back to the intro the whole study.
- I received very positive feedback on the concept and the way worship was defined. The circle chart I made that some of you have asked for (emotions, thoughts, behaviors around what you worship) wasn’t saved, but I’ll make a new one and include it below in the post.
- The question remains for us all this week: Can we recognize what or whom we indeed worship if not God?
First off, just a quick reminder that this study will be going on both Sundays & Wednesdays. While we realize this makes it where some can’t attend every class, as I said, I’ll do my best to make sure the audio is recorded and posted the next day, so it should be above 🙂
Secondly, there are TONS more to talk about concerning logos and the background of the word. We barely scratched the surface, which is all you can do in a 45-minute class. I’d like to recap some of the big points.
The main thing one needs to take away from logos and philosophy is that many believed in a higher principle (not necessarily God or god) that controlled or at least regulated the universe. This concept was person-less, creative-less, and simply existed in its basic form (which definitely wasn’t physical), though nothing could be possible without it. Hence, everything else was created from it. The reason John defining Jesus as the logos was and is so revolutionary is that John claimed a few basic things in the first few verses:
- The Logos is a creative being.
- The Logos became flesh.
- The Logos is someone we can know.
We may take these things for granted through the 2000-year lens of history and Bible scholarship, but you must endeavor to understand what a huge paradigm shift this was for both Jews and Greek, to believe that Jesus, who was a real man, was somehow a part of God through which all things were created on purpose. Quite honestly, many Christians today still have trouble believing in both Christ’s humanity (full human-ness) as well as His deity (The Word was God). Both are true, and Jesus was there in and with the Father in the beginning when they created the very trees upon which Jesus would someday hang.
What John does with this is, by establishing this up front, his Gospel is about showing us what this Logos looks like, how to live like Him, and why we must. John is arguably the most Messiah-centric gospel in that John’s entire focus is showing God become flesh. It’ll be a fun study.
Just to remind ourselves, we talked about what true and full worship is from Psalm 95, of how it engages our whole self – mind, will, and emotion – and focuses them on He who is of ultimate value. The main point of the sermon was that what or whom we worship, if not God, distorts our whole being, and affects everything about us. If we have a distorted object of our worship, worship defined as that which we ultimately value, what & how we learn will be distorted to fit that, how we feel about what we know and what we do will be different, and obviously what we do will be different.
- What do I really look forward to, and would choose over most other activities or people?
- What stirs my heart most?
- What do I enjoy learning most about?
- What would spur me on to make happen (change behavior, work more, do less, etc)?
- What do I spend most of my free time doing OR thinking about?
These questions aren’t meant to guilt trip you. They are meant to make us take a look at ourselves.
These questions aren’t meant to imply that hobbies or interests aren’t good. They are meant to help us see if an interest has become all-consuming.
These questions aren’t meant to judge you. They are meant to possible convict us.
As the sermon talks about, realizing what your actual true object or person you ultimately value changes how and what you learn, what you feel, and what you do about, and is worth trying to discover.
God created us not to simply give a part of ourselves to Him and hope for the best. We don’t just simply have a God-shaped hole in our heart. Our entire existence was meant to be fully, completely, and totally focused on worshipping God, and then everything to stem from that. If God is who the Bible says He is, which He is, He is the only thing or person completely worth our complete worship. And worshipping something worth worshipping is never wasted or in vain. Indeed, it can make life a whole lot more worth living.
Grace to you.