Installment one:

Worship is “the act of adoring and praising God, that is ascribing worth to God as the one who deserves homage and service.” People use the word “worship” to mean many things… singing, recitation of creeds and the Lord’s Prayer, contemplation of nature, activities that honor God, strategies to reach others, liturgies and musical styles. The essence of worship is a reciprocal relationship with God, a type of “revelation and response.” As God in his grace and mercy speaks to his people through the power of His Spirit, his Word touches the deep places in one’s heart. We experience his grace, his conviction and forgiveness, his love, truth, comfort and guidance. In response, “we love God with heart, soul, mind and strength.”

The Word of God records the response of creation to God, the response of the first human beings and the response of people throughout centuries of interaction with God. In worship, God engages us in a holistic experience that touches all aspects of our human experience.

Through worship, we retell the story of the Gospel, the good news of all that God has done with his people, through the Creation, the Fall, the Incarnation of Jesus Christ, and his death, burial and resurrection. We tell the story of the saving power of the Savior. We do not simply reenact the events of God’s history with man, but we personally interact with and response to God’s presence.

Worship is a dramatic enactment of the relationship that we have with God, a relationship that stems from historical events. Enactment may be done by means of recitation and drama. Recitation (creeds, hymns and preaching) and drama (or ritual) have their basis in the Old Testament and the New Testament, particularly in the Passover and Eucharist. In worship we enact or act out the Gospel.

(continues in installment 2)