Biblical Worship as Response to Saving Events

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

Because it is God who always takes the initiative, Christian worship is best discussed in terms of response. In worship people are responding to God; this is true of the whole of the liturgy, whether it be praise, thanksgiving, supplication, repentance, Eucharist, baptism, liturgical prayer, or the celebration of the church's year. If this is so, as the next three entries explain, worship must be seen in the context of saving history, which is the record of the divine initiative.

Israelite Worship as Response to Salvation History

The worship of the Israelites is a response to God's saving acts on their behalf, particularly the Lord's action of deliverance in the Exodus event. Through such events God spoke, calling the people to faith and commitment.

Christian Worship as Response to Salvation History

The worship of Christians is in response to God's saving action in the living, dying, and rising again of Jesus Christ; it is patterned on the history of salvation, offered to the Father, through the Son, and in the Holy Spirit.

Worship as the Response of a Community

Worship is the action of a people made one body in Christ, the source of its life. Ultimately, then, worship is an act of Christ the High Priest.