Heathdale flower 28th April 2023

Our Heart to Worship

Worship is an integral part of our God-given design and a means of glorifying God. Our prayer is that students will grow in their ability to worship God and become a community known for giving of themselves in worship, empowering them to reach their full potential in Jesus.

Heathdale flower

On Monday evening I had the opportunity to join my son and his fiancée at the AFL. They had encouraged me to come, even though I didn’t barrack for either team that was playing, they wanted me to experience the pre-game ANZAC commemoration.

I was so glad that I went. It was a deeply moving tribute that honoured the Australian and New Zealand soldiers involved in the events at Gallipoli Cove on April 25, 1915.

The 84,000 people present at this match seemed to be one as they recognised the sacrifice these soldiers, and the many men and women who have followed who have served in the armed forces, have made.

When a representative of The Light Horse Brigade rode by, carrying the lit torch that would be used to light the cauldron, people spontaneously broke out in a thunderous applause. It was a deeply moving moment and it took me some time to realise why it was so moving.

The following day as I watched the pre-game ANZAC commemoration on TV, one of the commentators said, “This is a deeply spiritual moment. What we are seeing speaks to our souls.”

The commentator’s words resonated deeply with me, because yes, it is a spiritual moment and what we did the previous night, and what the crowd were doing at this ANZAC Day match, was carrying out an act of worship.

As each of us are image bearers of God; to act spiritually and to worship is something that is deep within our DNA. Deep within our hearts is a desire to worship, it’s integral to our God-given design. See how the Old Testament Prophet and author Ezra describes our natural propensity to worship in the Old Testament book of 1 Chronicles:

“Give praise to the Lord, proclaim His name, make known among the nations what He has done! Sing to Him, sing praises to Him; tell of His wonderful acts. Give glory to Him and let those who seek the Lord rejoice.” (1 Chronicles 16:8-9)

Why do we worship? We worship because of who God is and because we were created to worship! In other words, we do it because it is part of our DNA; we are simply following our God-given design.

The shorter version of the Westminster Catechism asks the question, ‘What is the chief end of man?’ and answers this question as such: ‘The chief end [purpose or aim] of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.’

God’s ultimate purpose in creating us was to enable us to worship and praise Him. This passage from 1 Chronicles confirms the fact that God formed His people that they might proclaim His praise.

Recently I read this profound insight; permit me to share it with you. “The less self-absorbed we are, the more we are freed to worship, and the more we worship, the more we become the people we are meant to be!” (Brookes)

The well know Anglican priest William Temple put it like this: ‘To worship is to quicken the conscience by the holiness of God, to feed the mind with the truth of God, to purge the imagination by the beauty of God, to open the heart to the love of God, and to devote the will to the purpose of God.’ We give our worship to God and, in our giving, God gives Himself to us!

My prayer for our students is that by being part of this dynamic community, they can grow in their understanding and ability to worship, especially worship the One who created and sustains us, Jesus Christ.

As each student grows in this experience, we then become a community that is known as a people who give of ourselves in worship of God and know His blessing that as we do so He gives Himself to us!


Ross Grace
Executive Principal