If we truly believe Scripture is the life-giving Word of God, why don’t more Protestant churches read it to their congregations? Why is not our worship centered around hearing from the living God rather than making ourselves heard? As Christians, we need to sing less and listen more! Let’s make worship a Mary moment not a Martha one, and invite the congregation to sit and listen to Jesus speak.
Nehemiah 8-9 join Leviticus 10 and Hebrews 12 as significant to our development of a theology of worship. In verse 1, the people of Israel are described as gathering “as one man into the square before the Water Gate” (Nehemiah 8:1). When the people gathered before the Lord for corporate worship, they did so “as one man.” That moment focused on the individual as part of the body. Together, God’s people stood, listened, answered, said “Amen”, lifted their hands, bowed their heads, and worshiped (Nehemiah 8:6).