Saturday, February 13, 2010

"Thinking about worship is a different thing from worshiping"

Our pastor used this quotation from C.S. Lewis in the sermon this morning:
.... Every church service is a structure of acts and words through which we receive a sacrament, or repent, or supplicate, or adore. And it enables us to do these things best—if you like, it ‘works’ best—when, through long familiarity, we don’t have to think about it. As long as you notice, and have to count, the steps, you are not yet dancing but only learning to dance. A good shoe is a shoe you don’t notice. Good reading becomes possible when you need not consciously think about eyes, or light, or print, or spelling. The perfect church service would be one we were almost unaware of; our attention would have been on God.

But every novelty prevents this. It fixes our attention on the service itself; and thinking about worship is a different thing from worshiping. ....
C.S. Lewis, Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer, Harcout, Brace & World, 1963, pp. 4-5.