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[轉貼] Ten propositions on worship 十月 16, 2008

Filed under: 貓樂 — Chan Tai-man @ 11:59 下午

[轉貼] Ten propositions on worship by Kim Fabricius

1. Why worship God? Because God is to be worshipped. Worship is a holy tautology.

2. Does worship make God present? No, worship presupposes God’s presence. But God’s presence is unlike any other. “God does not exist,” said Kierkegaard, “he is eternal.” Compared to all existents, God’s presence is an absence. The Holy of Holies is empty. If worship is fundamentally eucharist, you could say that it is “thanks for nothing”. Without this apophatic point of departure, worship inevitably becomes idolatrous.

3. Is worship necessary? Not for God it isn’t. God does not need our worship – because God is worship, the perichoretic adoration of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Worship is, however, necessary for us, for it is only as homo adorans, participating in the very life of the Holy Trinity, that we become truly human. As the psychologist says in Peter Shaffer’s play Equus, “If you don’t worship, you’ll shrink.”

4. Does worship please God? The question’s assumption is right: God is the audience of worship, not the congregation (though you wouldn’t know it from many an act of worship). But whether or not the audience approves depends. Worship pleases God when we wash our hands before we raise and fold them, that is, when our praise begins in penitence – and then issues in the politics of peace. Then we are all reading from the same hymn sheet. Otherwise see Amos 5:21-24.

5. How should worship begin? But worship never begins, or, rather, it has always already begun. You could say that we are always late for worship, because we always enter worship in medias res, the praise unceasing of the communio sanctorum. Never forget that when there are only three old ladies and a dog in the pews.

6. How should worship proceed? Worship is a dialogue, or, better, a two-beat tempo of revelation and response, grace and gratitude. Worship is also an ellipse, spiralling around the foci of word and sacrament. And worship is a time machine that takes us back to the future. And the various liturgies? They are aides-memoirs, not incantations, synopses of the unfinished story we are invited to indwell and improvise; therefore they should not aim at closure but make space for contemplation and imagination.

7. How should worship end? With an ellipsis…. For when the liturgy is over, the service (λειτουργία) begins. Leaving the church is the ultimate liturgical act: Ite, missa est. On Romans 12:1-2, Ernst Käsemann observes that “the cultic vocabulary serves a decidedly anti-cultic thrust. Christian worship does not consist in what is practiced at sacred sites, at sacred times, and with sacred acts. It is the offering of bodily existence in the otherwise profane sphere.” Or as Michael Marshall puts it: “You do not become a Christian by sitting in the pew anymore than you become a car by sitting in the garage.”

8. What should we get out of worship? Wrong question. Worship is not a utility but an offering, i.e. a sacrifice, an economy of grace that interrupts and critiques the feverish cycles of production and consumption – which is why the collection is not fund-raising but cultural critique. If you want relevance, excitement, or profit, go to a rally, a concert, or the stock exchange. To put it most counter-culturally: Blessed are the bored, for they will see God.

9. What about people who don’t worship? We are responsible for them. Hence intercessions. But more: all worship is a vicarious act – in fact, Christ’s vicarious act – so that when we come to worship, we bring the whole world with us. Worship is the end of “us” and “them” – and a sneak preview of the reconciliation of all things.

10. And what about worship as evangelism, education, ethics? Of course, but as the blessings, not the motives, of worship – blessings given as worship reconditions the habits of our hearts and reshapes our disordered characters.

[轉貼] 網友中文版

1. 為何敬拜神?因神就是要被敬拜,敬拜是種神聖的贅述。

2. 敬拜使神臨在?不是。敬拜的前提是神的臨在。但神的臨在是與別不同。祈克果說:「神並非是存在,而是永恆」。與所有存在物相比,神的臨在是種缺席。至聖所 是空無一物的。基本上若敬拜即聖餐,那麼也可說它就是「為無物而感恩」。沒有這種直言否定法作為起點,敬拜就無可避免地變為偶像崇拜。

3. 敬拜是否必須?對神是不須要的。神並不須要我們的敬拜─因祂就是敬拜,是父、子、靈互滲互存的尊崇。然而,對我們敬拜是必須的,因為只有作為敬拜中的人, 參與在聖三一的生命中,我們才成為真實的人。正如Peter Shaffer的話劇Equus中,那心理學家說「若你不敬拜,你就會萎縮」。

4. 敬拜能討神喜悅嗎?問題的假設是對的:神是敬拜的聽眾而非會眾(雖然在眾多敬拜行動中,你是不會知道的)。但並非所有敬拜都會得到聽眾的認可。討神喜悅的 敬拜,就是當我們在舉起手之前,先潔淨雙手,換言之,就是當我們以認罪為讚美之始,然後以關乎平安的政治生活作開展,這時我們就能共同地唱出相同的詩歌。 參摩五21~24。

5. 敬拜應如何開始?敬拜永沒有開始,或者,敬拜常是經已開始。你可以說我們是時常在敬拜時遲到,因為我們時常在聖徒相通永不休止的敬拜讚美途中加入。當會眾席只有三位老太太和一隻狗時,請不要忘記這點。

6. 敬拜應如何進行?敬拜是種對話,或是更好地說,是種啟示與回應、恩典與感恩的二步節奏曲。敬拜也是一個橢圓,圍繞著聖道與聖禮兩個焦點運行。敬拜也是時間 機械,帶我們回到未來。各式禮儀又如何?禮儀只是備忘錄,不是符咒,是未完故事的綱領,我們都被邀請存活及臨時湊合在這故事之中。因此禮儀不應邁向結束, 而是為默觀和想像開闢空間。

7. 敬拜應如何結束?就是用省略號……因為當禮儀完結,服侍就開始。離開教會才是最終的禮儀行動:去!你們蒙差遣了!論到羅馬書十二章1~2節,Ernst Kasemann觀察到「禮祭詞彙發輝了決定性的反禮祭作用。基督教敬拜並非由在神聖的空間、時間、行動中的實踐所構成,而是在其他凡俗領域中,獻上具體 的身體」。又如Michael Marshall的講法:「你並不因坐在會眾席就使你成為一個基督徒,正如你並不因坐在汽車修理廠中就使你成為一輪汽車。」

8. 我們應從敬拜中獲取甚麼?問錯的問題。敬拜不是工具,而是獻上,是獻祭,是恩典的系統,把生產和消費的狂熱循環打斷和作出批判。正因如此,奉獻不是籌募經 費,而是文化批判。若你想找切合口味的事物、刺激、益處,請往集會、音樂會或是股票交易所去。以最抗衡文化的說法表達:沉悶的人有福了,因為他們必得見 神。

9. 那些不參與敬拜的人又如何?我們對他們是有責任的。因此需要代禱,不但如此,所有敬拜都是替代性行動─其實這是基督的替代性行動─藉此當我們來到敬拜時,我們是帶著全世界一起。敬拜終結「我們」與「他們」之間的界線─是暗中地預視萬物的同歸於一。

10. 但敬拜作為傳福音、教育和倫理又如何?當然這是重要,但這些都是敬拜的祝福而非動機─是敬拜把我們的心思習慣重新調整,把我們扭曲的人格重新塑造,所以是祝福。