Worship, a Royal Waste of Time?

The author of Psalm 146 tells us that he will be praising the Lord as long as he lives, “I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.”  He urges us not to put our trust in “a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.  “When his breath departs he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish.”

Marva Dawn, introduces her book “A Royal Waste of Time,” stating, “To worship the Lord is-in the world’s eyes- a waste of time.  It is, indeed a royal waste of time, but a waste nonetheless.  By engaging in it, we don’t accomplish anything useful in our society’s terms.”

She picked up the idea from a question asked her at lunch by a student of the Sacred Music Department at a conference of church musicians.  It led her to preach a sermon entitled, “A Royal Waste of Time” based on Colossians 3:12-17, Verse 16, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your heart to God.”

Marva notes, that “We are not chosen because we are great; we are not holy because we act like it; we are not beloved because we have earned it.  We start with the awareness today that makes everything we do a royal waste of time.  Nothing that we do, no matter how wonderful…will change one whit how God feels about us!

It is a royal waste of time because we are participating in the kingdom of God, into which we have been born and borne by our baptism…It is a royal waste of time because we have to die to ourselves and our egos, our purposes and accomplishments to live now in God’s kingdom.

Marva had begun the sermon with the following prayer:

Triune God, illimitably beyond our comprehension, teach us to worship in Spirit and in truth.  We know that we will never be able to praise you as you are worthy to be adored until we join the angels and martyrs of heaven in the eternal bliss of worshiping you.  Till then, guide us to faithfulness and fill us with the Joy of your presence…May we listen now to your Word, so that we will be changed evermore into the likeness of Jesus Christ our Savior, in whose name we pray, Amen.

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