Martin on Defining Worship

Back to definitions of "worship." Today's WORSHIP QUOTE comes from Ralph Martin's book Worship in the Early Church.

Worship in the Early Church
By Ralph P. Martin

DEFINING the TERM "WORSHIP"
Worship is a noble word. The term comes into our modern speech from the Anglo-Saxon weorthscipe. This later developed into worthship, and then worship. It means "to attribute worth" to an object. We use the word loosely when we say of a man, "He worships his money," or his car, or his golf clubs. A deeper meaning is found in the honorific title, "His Worship the Mayor," by which we dignify the first citizen of our town or city as a person who deserves special esteem and respect. In the Marriage Service of the Book of Common Prayer, the prospective husband's promise is "With my body I thee worship" - a pledge of utter loyalty and devotion to his bride, who is worthy of this, in his eyes. If we may elevate this thought to the realm of divine-human relationships, we have a working definition of the term worship ready-made for us. To worship God is to ascribe to him supreme worth, for He alone is worthy.

- Ralph P. Martin, Worship in the Early Church, chapter 1 "The Church – A Worshipping Community," Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1974 revised edition.


Take a few moments and think what it means "to ascribe to Him supreme
worth."

Have a great week!


To learn more about Chip Stam and his Worship Quote of the Week, click below.