There has been a lot of exciting stuff coming out of Canada over the last week with the Winter Olympics getting underway. However, you'll be hard pressed to find something more stirring than these paragraphs from A W Tozer, surely Canada's finest writer of the last generation. Tozer was churning out gold medal books when John Arnott & the Toronto Airport Vineyard church were still in short trousers!
This week I picked up Tozer's classic 'Whatever Happened to Worship?' to supplement our own 21st Century Worshippers series. He still sounds such a fresh note in our generation & saves us from the self obsessesd deceit that we were the first to discover these timeless truths.
'It is true that a great number of us think that worship is something that we do when we go to church. We call it God's house. We have dedicated it to Him, so we continue with the confused idea that it must be the only place where we can worship Him. We come to the Lord's house made out of brick & wood & lined with carpeting. We are used to hearing the call to worship:'The Lord is in His Holy Temple - let us all kneel before Him.''
'That is on Sunday & that is in church. Very nice! But Monday morning comes soon. The Christian layman goes to his office. The Christian teacher goes to the classroom. The Christian mother is busy with duties in the home. On Monday as we go about our different duties & tasks, are we aware of the presence of God?'
'The Lord desires still to be in His Holy Temple wherever we are. He wants the continuing love, delight & worship of His children, wherever we work. Is it not a beautiful thing for a businessman on a Monday morning to enter his office with an inner call to worship? 'The Lord is in my office - let all the world be silent before Him.''
Tozer manages to sum up in a few paragraphs the huge culture change that we are trying to walk through as the 21st Century Church: That we can worship in all of life, not just in our gathered communities; That we really do carry His presence with us wherever we go. Tozer saw 5 decades ago the kind of narrow Christianity that our compartmentalised & self centred lives would lead to - why not let him gently sting us back into line with a rebuke?
'If you cannot worship the Lord in the midst of your responsibilities on Monday, it is not very likely that you were worshipping Him on Sunday!' Ouch - You know when you've been Tozered!