10 October 2012

Worship in the tracery

We are made in Yahweh's image and as he does all things well, so should we. In fact, working well and to a high standard can be thought of as a form of worship. We take a look at this in terms of mediaeval workmanship.

York Minster's stone traceryA few days ago I posted about York Minster and provided links to a small collection of photos of this famous building. This time I want to focus on one of those images and consider how worship can involve doing things well.

Right at the outset it's worth saying that true worship is 'in spirit and in truth'. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Christ, and he is also the Spirit of Truth because Jesus is Truth in person. If I worship in and through Yahshua (Jesus) I will indeed worship in spirit and in truth because that is who he is. But can a building be worship?

No it can't, but the act of building it may be. We are made in Yahweh's image and part of that image is creativity. He is creative and he made us to be creative too. It comes out in so many ways, we see it in art and literature, in business, in science and technology. His creativity far exceeds ours and we worship because of that greatness, revealed partly in what he has made. This universe is so far beyond anything we can make. Our creativity is limited to merely rearranging small parts of what already exists; he created it all from nothing.

In terms of quarrying and selecting fine stone, intricately carving it to an overall plan, and assembling it into a beautiful window, a mediaeval craftsman could do an excellent job or a less careful one. He would of course have been paid for his work, but he might also have done his very best in order to glorify the Almighty. To this extent his work would be a form of worship.

If we viewed this lovely window from inside the Minster we would not notice the quality of the stonework but instead we'd be struck by the gloriously luminous stained glass work. Paul writes in Colossians 3:15-25 that whatever we do should be done as if we're doing it for Jesus, in his name, and giving thanks to the Father.

Few of us are called to make beautiful stonework or luminous stained glass. But whatever we are called to do we can (and should) do to the highest standard possible, no matter how humble the task. We can glorify the Creator by doing our very best in everything. He has set an example of work well done and we are meant to follow him in that as in all things.

Another UK blogger, Rhoda, makes the same point very effectively in her post in September called 'A Verse to Memorise - Working Wholeheartedly'. In fact her blog is called 'Living to Please God' and working wholeheartedly is a key part in doing just that.

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