In view of God’s mercies
Samantha Gassaway reflects on Carolyn Gordon’s talk on God’s mercies and worship. | Marika Adamopoulos/THE CHIMES
Biola freshman admissions associate Shelby Shutt and bible professor James Petitfils opened the festivities this morning with announcements and explanations regarding the Torrey theme this year. The duo explained that “we are to offer our bodies as living sacrifices on the altar of God, and through that, our lives are altered in that process.” We are called to engage in a life of transformation.
Carolyn Gordon, chair of the Department of Preaching and Communication at Fuller Theological Seminary, speaks on worship and makes a bold statement of confession and of faith: “My name is Caroline Gordon, and I am a recovering worshipper.” Many of us have grown up in the midst of conflict regarding musical worship. The minute worship became anything but the genuine response to God’s wonderful mercies, it was diminished and diluted. Paul writes in Romans 12 that “in view of God’s mercies… offer your bodies as a living sacrifice.” Gordon stressed that no one in the audience can say God’s mercies have not affected them and continue to push them into worship daily through sacrifice.
God calls us all to respond to his mercies with our everything, every second of the day. His calling is to be transformed, to be morphed into what he sees fit for you to become. The largest problem Christians have to cope with today is that this is a difficult process. God is calling us to be uncomfortable, to trust him with what we do not want to trust him with. We are to present ourselves as living sacrifices, and the natural consequence of this is that “dead sacrifices stay on, living sacrifices keep crawling off.” We must continually and intentionally devote ourselves to the calling to which we have been created for.
God is aware we are human, and we will not always live in perfect submission to him. He also knows we are human, and we will not always fail in trusting him. Being a living sacrifice is a covenant agreement, and we must live in view of that. Just as Peter returned to the risen Christ, we are called to return to him after we fail and strive to place our trust in him above all. Jeremiah reflects on how the only reason he is not overwhelmed is due to God’s unfailing and steadfast love.
In view of God’s mercies, we recover and redeem what worship is meant to be. We are to give our everything to God as a living sacrifice; and we are to trust him to love us the same in each of our seasons of life. He did not take us here to Biola and abandon us to ourselves, and he will not abandon us for all eternity.