I have been asked to talk to you about Worship in a violent world. As though there has ever been any other. There hasn’t. It is only because of the introduction into our midst of glimpses of a world, not yet our own, where all is peace that we are able to look at our world and refer to it as “violent”, rather than simply normal. The discovery that might is might, a frightening aberration for which we can take some responsibility, rather than right, a natural part of the order of things which just tends to run away with us, is a hugely complex insight whose consequences we haven’t yet worked out.
What I would like to do with you today is to stand back and ask what it is that allows Christians to use a horrid word taken from the world of violence such as “worship”; what we mean by it when we do use it; and what indeed do we do that counts as “worship”.