Daily Thought For October 12, 2019

The Nature of Christian Worship

Accordingly, the nature of Christian worship does not consist in the surrender of things or in any kind of destruction, an idea that has continually recurred since the sixteenth century in theories about the sacrifice of the Mass. According to these theories God’s sovereignty over all had to be recognized in this fashion. All these laborious efforts of thought are simply overtaken by the event of Christ and its biblical explanation. Christian worship consists in the absoluteness of love, as it could only be poured out by the one in whom God’s own love had become human love; and it consists in the new form of representation included in this love, namely, that he stood for us and that we let ourselves be taken over by him. So it means that we can put aside our own attempts at justification, which at bottom are only excuses and range us against each other—-just as Adam’s attempt at justification was an excuse, a pushing of the guilt onto the other, indeed, in the last analysis, an attempt to accuse God himself: “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree” (Gen 3:12). It demands that, instead of indulging in the destructive rivalry of self-justification, we accept the gift of the love of Jesus Christ, who “stands in” for us, allow ourselves to be united in it, and thus become worshippers with him and in him. 

Ratzinger, J. (2004). Introduction to Christianity (Revised Edition). (J. R. Foster, Trans.) (pp. 287–288). San Francisco: Ignatius Press.

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