From the conclusion of a post about the goal of Sunday morning worship by my friend, David Mathis:
If you want a spiritual sensation to seek maybe it’s quenching your thirst. The picture from Psalm 42 is a thirsty deer, aching for water — call it “the heart of worship.” “As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God” (Psalm 42:1–2).
Perhaps your experience resonates with those of us who would say, in the words of John Piper, “the revolt against hedonism has killed the spirit of worship in many churches” (Desiring God, 98). Surprising as it may seem, we would encourage you this weekend to ban any thought of disinterestedness — because “worship is the most hedonistic affair of life and must not be ruined with the least thought of disinterestedness” (98).
We believe that “the hedonistic approach to God in worship is the only humble approach because it is the only approach that comes with empty hands” (95–96). It is good news that “the enemy of worship is not that our desire for pleasure is too strong, but too weak!” (99).
So, as you prepare your heart for, and enter into, corporate worship this weekend, don’t tone your desires down or put your heart aside. Don’t just go through the motions. Don’t let mere duty be the driver. Come to feast on God and his goodness to us in Jesus. Come to satisfy your deepest longings in the very one “who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross” (Hebrews 12:2).
We come not to meet any needs in God, but to have our greatest needs met in his grace.
Let’s worship like hedonists.
Amen! May we all worship like Christian hedonists tomorrow morning.
(You may read the entirety of David's post at Desiring God.)