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Worship Frees Us from Self-reliance

Here is another excerpt from Brueggemann’s sermon on Psalm 100 [“Psalm 100,” Interpretation 39 (1985): 65-69]. In this section he is making the point that worship along the lines called for in Psalm 100 is a summons to reorient life in light of the reality that God is our Creator and Shepherd.

To sing in this way to Yahweh is to abandon self-groundedness. A life without praise is more likely a life turned in on self. It is a life of autonomy and self-invention, which imagines that one is self-made, need answer no other and can rely on no other. Such a notion of self-groundedness is a pervasive temptation among us, which may lead to cynicism and anxiety or to pride and domination. But this psalm is an acknowledgment that life is a gift. Life is always and regularly to be referred back to the giver. Such ultimate submission of sheep to shepherd leaves one free and unencumbered by the burden of self-invention.


  1. Eric Smith says:

    These two worship quotes are outstanding, and a much-needed reorientation in my thinking about worship. Thank you!

  2. Ray says:

    Your most welcome, Jason! I’m glad to know you found it useful. The full sermon is really good.

  3. Ray,

    Thanks so much for these…fantastic.

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