Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit. Piety Hill refers to the old name for our neighborhood. The neighborhood has changed a great deal in the over 160 years we have been on this corner (but not our traditional biblical theology) and it is now known for the neighboring theatres, the professional baseball and football stadiums and new hockey/basketball arena.

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Tuesday, March 07, 2023

We are created to worship - Rector's rambling for March 5, 2023

O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker” Psalm 95:6

 One of the things we are called to do, above all things, is to worship the Lord.  We are created to worship, and if we do not worship the Living God then we will worship something else, willingly or not. 

For many people, that worship is of the self, one’s own desires and urges.  In the Garden the great temptation by the evil one was that if they ate the fruit they would ‘be like God’.  Being like God on His terms is admirable, and cannot be achieved in disobedience to God’s commandments.  And one way our fallen nature acts out on this innate desire to worship is to misdirect that worship towards self. 

Other objects of worship include another human being, money, possessions, and power.  And sometimes the worship of excitement and thrill, or a desire to flee from pain, becomes a loss of freedom through addiction.

This Lenten season we are looking at sin because we need to realize the depth of our distortion from God’s created image in us, and our God-given desires twisted by that sin.  Once we have acknowledged that sin and whole-heartedly asked God for forgiveness, purposing to amend our lives and not sin again, then we can make a start toward the holiness that Our Lord desires for us.

One way we enter into the great mystery of God’s awesome power is to worship him in the beauty of holiness.  We must worship, and worship Him alone.  And when we give that focus and effort toward the worship of God, then we will find ourselves become loosed from the chains of sinful desires that bind us.  We begin to soar, spiritually, as we find ourselves elevated in heart and mind and we focus that time using the bodies his has given us to worship Him.

Beauty in building, vestment and sound (music), the use of other senses through things like incense, and the use of our body’s posture (stand, sit, kneel) all contributes to the glory of worship that is pointed toward God alone, as we “bow down, and kneel before the Lord our maker”