Theology of Worship- Scripture Reading in Service

The following quote is from Daniel Block’s syllabus for the Theology of Worship class.  This comes from a section of the role of the reading and proclamation of Scripture in worship.  Block begins with his definition for worship, and its dependency on the role of Scripture:

“If true worship involves reverential human acts of submission and homage before the divine Sovereign, in response to his gracious revelation of Himself, and in accordance with his will, then the integrity and acceptability of one’s worship will  depend directly upon the clarity of the divine revelation and the level of understanding of his will.”

Obviously, most of us would agree with that previous statement.  But then Block nails it home with a plea for Evangelicals to rediscover that in the reading of Scriptures worshippers hear the voice of God.  Block had this to say:

“Despite our creedal statements to the contrary, the relative absence of the Scriptures is one of the marks of contemporary evangelical worship.  At best the Scriptures are read piecemeal and impatiently that we might get on with the sermon.  After all, our interpretation of Scripture is much more important for the congregation that the sacred word of God itself.  At worst, we do not open the Scriptures at all.  In our efforts to be contemporary and relevant advertently or inadvertently we dismiss the reading of the Scriptures as a fossil whose vitality and usefulness has died long ago.  In the process we displace the voice of God with the foolish babbling of mortals, and the possibility of true worship is foreclosed.  And then we wonder why there is such a famine for the word of God in the land (Amos 8:11-14).”

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One comment on “Theology of Worship- Scripture Reading in Service

  1. BethsMomToo says:

    One thing our Pastor has done to make us more attentive to the reading of Scripture in the AM Service is to tie the passage to the teaching in that night’s Evening Service. Currently he is working progressively through Psalm 119, one letter at a time. We know in the AM that the passage read is going to be exposited in the PM, and as a result we are MUCH more attentive to it. Sometimes I start making notations in my Bible as soon as we sit down. I notice & mark the Purpose and Reason statements, the repeated words and phrases, where the subject changes (divide it into sections). While the Offering is being collected, I find I’m busy thinking about & marking up the passage just read. That afternoon I am thinking of the Theme of the Passage, a possible Title & perhaps subtitles for the section. Then when I come to Evening Service I am better prepared to listen to the Pastor’s teaching. I have been spending the time in between Services thinking about that Scripture passage and I find I am actually EXCITED to hear what the Pastor has to say about it in the Evening Service!

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