Biblical Worship as Re-presentation of Saving Events

Source: The Complete Library of Christian Worship, Robert E. Webber, General Editor

Encounter with God in worship creates life as the worshiper's relationship to God is continuously sustained and renewed. In biblical worship this takes place as the saving events of God's action in history are made real again and again, as explained in the following four entries.




Israelite Worship as a Re-presentation

The Israelite cultus, or worship pattern, is responsible primarily for the origin, preservation, and transmission of a large portion of the Old Testament.

Worship and Historical Recital

The recitation of the history of Yahweh's redemptive acts forms the basis for creed, liturgy, and preaching in the Old Testament. The Christian church took up the format of historical recital in its hymnic and creedal affirmation of God's actions in Christ.

Worship as Dramatic Re-presentation

Recent studies of the history of Israel's religion have demonstrated convincingly that the formative events of Israel's faith were dramatically acted out in worship. In fact, some of the Old Testament narratives have reached their present form as a result of the historicizing of cultic dramatic re-presentation.

Israelite Worship's Relevance for Christian Worship

Because the God of Israel and the God of the Christian church are the same God, it is not surprising that their patterns of worship have strong similarities. Christian worship has much to gain from the study and appreciation of the worship of ancient Israel.