(This blog is part of a series. See my blog entitled "Worship Formation" posted on August 31, 2012 for the introduction to the series)
The use of Scripture is foundational in celebrating God in worship. The Bible has always been central to the life of the Christian church. The ancient Hebrew stories, songs, prophecy and wisdom that permeated the Jewish world of Jesus’ day profoundly shaped even Jesus himself as he lived on the earth. The earliest Christians explored the Scriptures in an attempt to understand what Almighty God had accomplished through Jesus, and as a result, they planned to shape their lives accordingly. Today, we continue to study the Scriptures to discover how to live and thus, how to worship.
Scripture has never been merely a reference book for answering questions or a recipe book to create discussions, though it could possibly be used as such. From the very beginning Scripture has been given a prominent place in the church’s worshiping life, indicating that it has been understood to not only be part of the church’s thinking but also part of the church’s worship. Scripture is the foundation of all Christian worship in that it reveals God to the worshiper – what He has done in the past, what He is doing in the present, and what He will do in the future – and shows us what the appropriate response should be as we worship in spirit and truth.
The use of the Psalms is at the heart of Christian worship in many traditions. It is often utilized to encourage the praise and worship of God, just as it did for the psalmists themselves in years past. The reading of the gospel indicates the belief that the Bible continues to be both a central way in which God reveals Himself to His people and a central way in which His people respond.
We must be committed to authentic worship that is acceptable to God. Gordon Borror says, “As a thoughtful gift is a celebration of a birthday, as a special evening out is a celebration of an anniversary, as a warm eulogy is a celebration of a life, as a sexual embrace is a celebration of a marriage – so worship is a celebration of God.” The use of Scripture is foundational in celebrating God in authentic worship. May the Church rediscover the importance of the public presentation of Scripture within their worship services. May we all remember the power and authority of God’s Word in our worship.