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Sanctification and Worship

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If "all of life is sacred," as a popular saying goes, then what's the significance of going to church? The Reformation got rid of the division between Christians who worship (monks) and those who work (laypeople), but only in our individualist-expressivist culture has this downplaying of worship become a grand distortion. Calvin College professor James K. A. Smith’s recent article in Reformed Worship succinctly and insightfully untangles this amazingly practical issue. Here is an excerpt:

Christian worship gathered around Word and table is not just a platform for our expression; it is the space for the Spirit’s (trans)formation of us. The practices of gathered Christian worship have a specific shape about them—precisely because this is how the Spirit recruits us into the story of God reconciling the world to himself in Christ. There is a logic to the shape of intentional, historic Christian worship that performs the gospel over and over again as a way to form and reform our habits. If we fail to immerse ourselves in sacramental, transformative worship, we will not be adequately formed to be ambassadors of Christ’s redemption in and for the world. In short, while the Reformers rightly emphasized the sanctification of ordinary life, they never for a moment thought this would be possible without being sanctified by Word and sacrament.


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  • All of Life Is Worship

    This “sanctification of ordinary life”...

    It would be interesting to see a reformed reflection regarding worship, we the temple, and sanctification in the light of David's words: "“My son, I had it in my heart to build a house to the name of the LORD my God. But the word of the LORD came to me, saying, ‘You have shed much blood and have waged great wars you shall not build a house to my name, because you have shed so much blood before me upon the earth." 1 Chron. 22

    Other than Spurgeon, I have not seen much revulsion for bloodshed among the reformed.

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