Worship is the Gospel in Motion

During vacation days I had the rich opportunity to re-read Robert Webber’s Worship Old & New.  Chapter six of that book is entitled, “Worship Is the Gospel in Motion.”  In typical and powerful Robert Webber fashion the book offers an overview of ways that worship works to engage worshipers with the worshiped Triune God.  His simple though profound outline of how worship works is well worth simply restating here:


“Worship is not a mere memory or a matter of looking back to a historic event.  Rather, worship is the action that brings the Christ event into the experience of the community gathered in the name of Jesus.  Three implications:


(1)  worship recapitulates the Christ event

(2)  worship actualizes the church

(3)  worship anticipates the kingdom


Surely we can see in this outline the magnificent trajectory of worship that looks back to a rehearsal of the Christ event, is present in the church gathered for worship being realized or actualized as the body of Christ, and looks forward to anticipate the Kingdom in worship.  How rich this anamnesis to prolepsis through the richness of being the people of God in Christ’s presence, while at once being reminded that the experience of worship as a recapitulation brings heaven, earth, and the believer together in a single whole.  The church joins in that great chorus of voices to offer praise to the Father through the Son by the Spirit.


I pray our worship planning and worship leading of congregational singing is fueled to transmit our worship in this faith journey.  Moving from recapitulation in and to actualization toward anticipation is indeed the “Gospel in Motion.”  Let us unapologetically review and analyze our singing in light of this opportunity for movement.  Let us correct our course where we have failed to centralize the power of the Gospel to transfer worship and worshiper.  Let us once again call our people to “Lift up their hearts” (Sursum Corda)  Let our songs and singing move us away from the tyranny of self to join the worship of the ages, the worship of heaven in singing the song of deliverance, the song of Moses and of the Lamb (Rev 15:2-4)


Explore posts in the same categories: Choir Ministry, Church Music, Congregational Singing, Leading Worship, Music Ministry, Singing Worship, Spiritual formation through singing, Worship Leaders, Worship Pastors, Worship Reminders, Worship theology, Worship thoughts, Youth Worship

3 Comments on “Worship is the Gospel in Motion”

  1. Stan Pylant Says:

    Excellent writing Paul…..thanks for reminding us of the richness of worship and the need for planning content with this range of “motion” you refer too…..

  2. k crunk Says:

    These words carry such weight with them. I’m so glad I stumbled upon your blogs

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