The Priority of Worship
Updated: Feb 18
Calvin argues in his commentary on Psalm 33 that there is nothing better in which the people of God can be employed than worshiping him. The truth is that, in our time at least, many professing Christians fail to embrace that truth. Perhaps its due to a low estimation of the importance of worship; or perhaps its due to a failure to appreciate the importance of corporate worship as having a special priority in the purposes of God. In the same commentary, Calvin observes:
God creates for himself a church in the world by gracious adoption, for the express purpose, that his name may be duly praised by witnesses suitable for such a work….And, assuredly, since God by his daily benefits furnishes them with such matter for celebrating his glory, and since his boundless goodness, as we have seen elsewhere, is laid up as a peculiar treasure for them, it were disgraceful and utterly unreasonable for them to be silent in the praises of God.”
I often tell my kids that they not only have they been created for worship, but that God sent His Son to redeem us for worship. To belong to God is to be a worshiper of God. As I read him, Calvin is making the same point here. To be redeemed is to be someone who knows God, and is growing in the true knowledge of Him. Christians, of all people, are those who understand something significant of the true glory of God; we of all people are those who apprehend something of His love, mercy, grace, goodness, and Fatherly care. How can we then fail to make praising Him our chief priority? How then can we help but find great joy and delight in gathering together with our fellow redeemed brothers and sisters to join our praises in honoring His glorious name?
Far from weakening our work in outreach, evangelism, discipleship and the like, truly maintaining a priority upon worship ought to compel us to engage in them all the more fervently and purposefully. After all, the priority of worship directs us to see what is at stake in all of these other things, namely the glory of God being extolled by the people whom God has set apart to worship Him.