I read a quote from Eugene Peterson this week which said, “Our worship restores us to a wholeness that keeps us sane in the midst of bedlam, joyous in the face of doom’ (‘On Living Well’), and like so many of words, that was like an arrow to my heart.

Bedlam was a Victorian hospital for the mentally ill, and came to symbolise the chaos and terror of insanity, the place where all the horror of the world was gathered together, not so much to cure people as to remove them from sight. The word has come to mean chaos and confusion, and life often feels chaotic and confused, lacking clarity. It is easy to feel overwhelmed navigating this morass of duplicity and moral ambiguity. But worship, when we refocus our attention on God, restores sanity to us. It’s as if our vision is restored from the upside-down retinal images of the newborn to the right-way-up world designed by God where He reigns and where eternity is once again factored into our daily living.

Joy in the face of doom is the other aspect of worship mentioned by Eugene Peterson. When we worship, perspective is restored and we can receive the supernatural joy and peace promised by Jesus instead of the doom predicted by politicians, media and other nay-sayers. Worship reminds us of the promises God gives us, promises of a new heaven and a new earth; it reminds us that resurrection is possible, so even death does not have the last word.

Wholeness, sanity and joy – what blessings are these!