Summary: In answer to the question: Why does God need our worship? Is that our purpose - only to live and praise God?
Question to be asked: Why does God need our worship? Is that our purpose - only to live and praise God?
Intro: Why are we here? I hope that by the time we’re done here this morning you don’t leave saying, “Why are we here, again?”
I’m driving in Canada some years ago, and every once in a while I’d notice little piles of rocks. Usually, they looked like a person. Some were by the roadside. Some were on beaches. Different shapes and sizes of rocky sentinels. I couldn’t tell what they were just by looking at them.
As I saw them, some thoughts came to mind:
Who built these? They aren’t there by accident. Those rocks didn’t just happen to fall there that way. These pebble-y people must have some purpose. Their builders had something in mind when they stacked them. What was it? For the large ones, it took a lot of thought and effort to create them. As it turns out, they do have a purpose for being there.
Those mineral men are a northern thing - started thousands of years ago, and still an important part of the Inuit culture. They’re typically known as “inukshuk” - in the Inuit tongue, that means “to act in the capacity of a human.”
Often times, the inukshuk were markers that helped people travel, or they pointed out a good place for hunting or whaling, or maybe a warning about thin ice. Often, they were a reassurance that a person was headed the right direction. Some were built to have a “window” through them, which a person could look through and be directed to another waypoint ahead. Some were built as a memorial, or for religious reasons. And, more lately and in other places of the world, some are built just for the builder to enjoy. There you go - something you can do with the rocks in your flowerbed at home this spring!
I look around at people-shaped people and I have a similar thought process: Someone put them here. People don’t “just happen.” They aren’t here by accident. There’s design and some purpose behind something so complex. And, the Bible tells us, they are more than just material. People have a soul that will last forever. It doesn’t seem so crazy to ask, “who put them here, and what is their purpose?” does it?
Why are we here?
There’s another way to ask this big question:
What is the meaning of life?
People joke about answering that question, because philosophy hasn’t answered it for millennia, but God’s word has had the answer to that question all along, and it answers it right up front. That’s what I want to do this morning, and then from there discuss what to do about it.
Our purpose for existence is found in the fact that we are created. Without creation, there is no purpose. Instead, we have been created, intentionally, by the Creator, with a purpose for existing. No creation is without some purpose, and that includes us, as a part of God’s creation. We, along with all the rest of creation, are here for the purpose of directing glory to God. God isn’t shy about making that clear: (breeze through these)
I will say to the north, Give up, and to the south, Do not withhold; bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth, everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”
…so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
“Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”
For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.
In 1646 English and Scottish theologians wanted to bring about some unity in the Church of England and they compiled the 107 questions and answers known as The Westminster Shorter Catechism. It’s very first question is:
“What is the chief end of man?”
“Man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.”
That’s a pretty good short answer, actually. It’s spelled out in Scripture:
We glorify God by being good stewards of the rest of creation.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.