“In all the works of God He takes the initiative. He created in accordance with His free and sovereign will; no one was there to advise Him. In grace, the Son became incarnate ‘for us and our salvation’; this too was the result purely of the grace of God, undeserved, unprompted. In our own experience, God Himself brought us to new life by His Spirit; our faith and repentance is a response to His prior grace. We love Him because He first loved us. Is it any different in worship? Is that primarily something we do? No, first of all God goes before us. He has called His church to Himself. He is there to greet us. As we gather, it is to meet with Him, but first he has drawn us. Moreover, our acts of worship are accepted because they are offered in union with Christ. He, in our nature, is at the Father’s right hand. From this it follows that the elements of worship are a dialog in which the holy Trinity takes the initiative. Through His ordained servant, the Father through his Son by the Holy Spirit calls us to worship. He speaks to us in His Word read and proclaimed. He receives our praise and prayers. He communes with us in the sacrament. In the benediction he dismisses us with His blessing—which is far from a pious wish or prayer that such things might be, if it is the will of God. Rather, the benediction is a declaration of a real state of affairs, undergirded by His covenant promises. This is a dynamic view of worship, one that follows squarely in the Reformed tradition and is rooted in biblical teaching. Our congregations need to hear it, they need to understand it, they need to imbibe it and be permeated by it.” (Robert Letham)
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