May 29, 2013

Prayer, Work, and Play

Category: Theology :: Permalink

It is not only prayer that gives God glory but work.  Smiting on an anvil, sawing a beam, white-washing a wall, driving horses, sweeping, scouring, everything gives God some glory if being in His grace you do it as your duty.  To go to communion worthily gives God great glory, but to take food in thankfulness and temperance gives Him glory too.  To lift up the hands in prayer gives God glory, but a man with a dungfork in his hand, a woman with a slop pail, give Him glory, too.  God is so great that all things give Him glory if you mean that they should — Gerard Manley Hopkins, cited in Kathleen Norris, The Quotidian Mysteries, 70-71.

In fact, without taking much away from what Hopkins is saying here, one should go even further: “if being in His grace you do it as your pleasure.”  It is not only duty that glorifies God; it is also delight.  Prayer glorifies God, vacuuming the carpet glorifies God, and so does my son laughing as I tickle him.  So does my daughter as she jumps up and down for joy when she finds that I’ve brought her a new book from the library and so does she, if being in God’s grace and not neglecting something she ought to be doing at that time, she sits down to become completely absorbed in that book.  God is so great that He is glorified even by our play, because, after all, he even created Leviathan to play before him  (Psalm 104).

Posted by John Barach @ 12:52 pm | Discuss (0)

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