Martin Luther wrote: “The highest worship of God is the preaching of His Word.” What could Preaching have to do with worship? Maybe the Pastor worships, but how can the hearer participate?
Biblically, worship is usually described something like: “ascribing to the Lord the glory due his name” (Psalm 20:2).One’s Name, in the ancient world meant “reputation”. So worship according to the Psalmist is recognizing God for who he is.
This naturally has consequences. When Isaiah came to see God for who he is, in the vision of Isaiah 6, he recognized who he himself was and was driven to repent. Job likewise, when God spoke to him changed his perspective on both himself and God. Preaching, (Christian preaching) is the explication of God in Christ, which beings us to know him more fully.
Secondarily, though I’ll keep this one brief, worship is to “bow in submission”. When we submit to what we are instructed by God, we grow in Christlikeness and more perfectly reflect His character and Name. Through preaching we come to know God and what he requires of us in the most complete way (the only method specifically ordained by God to these purposes. but not completing the christian experience of private prayer and devotions). And so in martin Luther’s words, “the active listening to preaching is the highest form if worship”.
To understand active listening, think of how you listened to your spouse/gf/bf on your first few dates ;). What do you do to actively listen to sermons? In my next post, I am going to share some the things that I do, both to prepare and engage with the Sermon. Leave a comment below if you have something to add.