Monday, May 12, 2008

A Universalist Theology of Worship

For the universalist our Christian worship in the present age is a prophetic anticipation of the universal worship in the age to come.
One day every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Philippians 2:8-9). But not yet. Right now the world is divided between those who worship God through Christ and those who do not. But when we declare the praises of him who called us out of darkness into his glorious light we anticipate that final day.

You might think that your Sunday morning worship is a insignificant, mundane thing. It is not. It is a prophetic act of resistance to the idolatry of the age. It is an act of hope, straining against the night, yearning for the day when all will love him.

Few have expressed this universalist theology of worship better than Matt Redman in his song, "There's a louder shout to come"
(NOTE: Redman is not a universalist but the theology in this song is both universalist and profound!)

VERSE 1:
There is a louder shout to come, there is a sweeter song to hear;
All the nations with one voice, all the people with one fear.
Bowing down before Your throne, every tribe and tongue we'll be;
All the nations with one voice, all the people with one King.
And what a song we'll sing upon that day.

CHORUS:
O what a song we'll sing and O what a tune we'll bear;
You deserve an anthem of the highest praise.
O what a joy will rise and O what a sound we'll make.
You deserve an anthem of the highest praise.

VERSE 2:
Now we see a part of this, one day we shall see in full
All the nations with one voice, all the people with one love.
No one else will share Your praise, nothing else can take Your place;
All the nations with one voice, all the people with one Lord.
And what a song we'll sing upon that day.

VERSE 3:
Even now upon the earth there's a glimpse of all to come;
Many people with one voice, harmony of many tongues.
We will all confess your name, You will be our only praise;
All the nations with one voice, all the people with one God;
And what a song we'll sing upon that day.

2 comments:

caty said...

Are you familiar with Bp. Timothy Rees' hymn, 'God is Love, Let Heaven Adore Him'? 3rd stanza:

"God is Love: and though with blindness
Sin afflicts and clouds the will,
God’s eternal loving-kindness
Holds us fast and guides us still.
Sin and death and hell shall never
O’er us final triumph gain;
God is Love, so Love for ever
O’er the universe must reign."

Gregory MacDonald said...

I am aware of it but I had never noticed that it could be appropriated by a universalist. Nice one.