Day 12

Worship Through Proclamation

from the reading plan

Deuteronomy 32:3-4, Nehemiah 8:1-12, John 9:13-38

We live in the age of crowdsourcing, peer reviews, and Instagram endorsements. An unknown visionary with limited capital but a great idea can sell a million dollars’ worth of a product on Kickstarter before she’s even built a prototype. Amazon star-ratings can make or break a new book before its official launch. And a movie can be sunk at the box office if it doesn’t fare well on Rotten Tomatoes. These days, the Internet has given everyone a voice, and our voices are being used in the public square to vote for the products, services, and institutions we like.

This actually isn’t anything new. Word of mouth and recommendations from friends have always been powerful. Social media has just amplified things as of late. If you think about it, word of mouth is precisely how the early Church spread across the Roman Empire. I don’t say this to discount the signs and wonders that the Lord performed through the apostles and other early Christians. Rather, I’m affirming the power of proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom of God.

When we proclaim the Lord’s goodness with our voices, we lift up His name to a listening world. There is worship in such an act. Though our speech might be directed toward other people, it is God who is being praised.

In John 9, Jesus healed a man born blind. He spit in the dust and mixed it up into clay in His hands. Then He anointed the beggar’s eyes with the stuff and instructed him to wash in a nearby pool. It sounds gross, but it was worth it for the man, because when he washed the holy mud out of his eyes, he could see. The world that had been darkness his entire life was now filled with brilliant shades of blue, green, brown, and red. Sounds that his brain had processed in mystery now had shape. And with eyes wide open, this man opened his mouth just as wide to proclaim what had happened. Although He didn’t know precisely who Jesus was at first, he could not be silenced. He told everyone who asked exactly what God had done for him—even when the Pharisees cast him out of his local synagogue.

To be cast out of the synagogue was a bit more serious than being asked to leave a worship service. It was an official way of being ostracized by the entire community, including one’s own family, since the synagogue was the center of local Jewish life. But yet, though it cost him everything, this man who was once blind refused to shut up about Jesus. This is the kind of proclamation God wants from us—to be willing to lose everything because we just can’t shut up about how good He is. That is a sacrifice of praise.

Let us be people who can’t stop talking about the gospel. Let us be filled with awe and wonder at what God has done for us. Let us be people who proclaim the truth of God’s Word to a world in need. And let our words be received by our Father as the worship due His name. “For I will proclaim the LORD’s name. Declare the greatness of our God” (Deuteronomy 32:3).

Written by John Greco

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