worship in spirit and truth

Humbly, could this 1600 year old quote have any relation to our practice of worship in churches today?  MLK Day made me think of this…

"To tell the truth, my well beloved Brothers, you can understand the truth of what you sing only if you practice it.  However I say this, in whatever way I may express it, with whatever choice of words, this word does not enter into a heart which does not practice it.  Therefore begin to act, and you will understand what we are saying.  Then each word of the Psalm will make the tears flow, then the Psalm is sung and the heart does what is sung in the Psalm.  Alas!  How many there are who chant with the voice and are remote in heart!"

-Augustine, Homilies on the Psalms, Psalm 119: The Ascents of the Christians, 8.

One Comment

  1. Just read this relevant note from the JPS Commentary on Deuteronomy 6:5 = “Love of God in Deuteronomy is not only an emotional attachment to Him, but something that expresses itself in action. This is in keeping with the face that Hebrew verbs for feelings sometimes refer as well to the actions that result from them. When Deuteronomy describes God’s love for man, it means a love expressed in benevolent acts, as in 10:18: God ‘loves the stranger, providing him with food and clothing’ (see also 7:8… and 23:6). Israel’s duty to love God is likewise inseparable from action.”

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