April 23, 2016

OLDFASHIONED WORSHIP...REALLY OLD


                           OLDFASHIONED WORSHIP

I mean, this is really old oldfashioned worship. The story is about Ezra, a priest and scribe, who ministered about 500 B.C. Oldfashioned is that which is of a style or kind no longer in vogue. And yet similar to Ezra’s worship gathering so long ago, these elements of worship are still part and parcel in many places of Christ honoring worship today. I have interjected an outline in the passage below. It makes salient 12 points of God-honoring worship. All that is in parentheses and in caps is my attempt to point out the richness of the text.

NEHEMIAH 8:1-8


And all the people gathered as one man at the square which was in front of the Water Gate, and they asked (THE PEOPLE’S ASPIRATION) Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses (DIVINE REVELATION) which the Lord had given to Israel. 2 Then Ezra the priest (DIVINE AUTHORIZATION) brought the law before the assembly of men, women and all who could listen with understanding (PEOPLE’S PARTICIPATION), on the first day of the seventh month. 3 He read from it before the square which was in front of the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of men and women, those who could understand; and all the people were attentive to the book of the law. 4 Ezra the scribe stood at a wooden podium which they had made for the purpose (ADVANCE PREPARATION). And beside him stood Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah, and Maaseiah on his right hand; and Pedaiah, Mishael, Malchijah, Hashum, Hashbaddanah, Zechariah and Meshullam on his left hand (LEADERSHIP PARTICIPATION). 5 Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people for he was standing above all the people; and when he opened it, all the people stood up (CONGREGATON VENERATION). 6 Then Ezra blessed the Lord the great God (WORSHIPER EXALTATION). And all the people answered, “Amen, Amen! (WORSHIPER AFFIRMATION)” while lifting up their hands (WORSHIPER EXHILARATION); then they bowed low (WORSHIPER HUMILIATION) and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground. 7 Also Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, the Levites, explained the law (PRIESTLY EXPLANATION) to the people while the people remained in their place. 8 They read from the book, from the law of God, translating to give the sense (MORE EXPLANATION OR EXPOSITION) so that they understood the reading.” 

D.  CHRISTEN