Worship Through Proclamation
Open Your Bible
Deuteronomy 32:3-4, Nehemiah 8:1-12, John 9:13-38
BY Guest Writer
For the record, I’m a pretty good driver. But give me an open stretch of highway heading west into a golden sunset or a dark country road lit by only a glowing harvest moon, and you’ll have reason to worry if you’re in my passenger seat. My focus shifts to the sky. Not only do I linger on the beauty, but I want whoever is riding with me to be deeply moved by it too. “Look at that sky!” I repeat, pointing and craning my neck to see more. “Do you see it?” I ask again, wanting to be sure that my passenger isn’t missing any of the glory.
In Reflections on the Psalms, C.S. Lewis said, “I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation.” Expressing awe and wonder deepens our appreciation, and we are better for it. As Lewis also said, praise is inner-health made audible.
We see this life-giving, out-loud pattern of worship throughout Scripture. It starts by recognizing the power and presence of God. Then, we proclaim His goodness to others. In turn, we experience deeper meaning and joy ourselves.
We see this in Deuteronomy when we read of Moses, ancient Israel’s prophet and deliverer, proclaiming the greatness of God to all the people. He says, “I will proclaim the LORD’s name. Declare the greatness of our God!” (Deuteronomy 32:3).
We hear it in the psalmist’s song of praise in times of both celebration and suffering. He proclaims, “I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips” (Psalm 34:1).
It is good for praise to bubble up from our hearts and for celebration to spill out of our mouths as we proclaim God and His creative work all around us. But, there’s more. This pattern of proclamation deepens as we also give voice to how God has touched us personally.
In John 9, Jesus illustrates how God reveals Himself to the world through His personal touch by restoring sight to a man born blind. Neighbors wondered if the one with fresh eyes could really be the blind beggar they had passed on the street year after year. The Jewish leaders, fearing that Jesus was gaining reputation and power among the people, also cast suspicion on the miracle. They interrogated, insulted, and expelled the man from their community. But neither his neighbors’ skepticism nor the Jewish leaders’ intimidation would prevent the healed man from publicly declaring the works and ways of Jesus. He says, “One thing I do know: I was blind, and now I can see!” (v.25). This man had been given new vision and a new story.
This is the pattern of proclamation: I recognize that I was once blind, but now I have seen and experienced God’s personal touch and restoration in my life. This causes me to humbly and boldly proclaim His goodness to others, and my joy and wonder deepen as I share my story.
So, lean out the window and look again. God is at work all around us and even inside our own lives. Nudge the person next to you and crane your neck to see more. Look at what God is doing! Do you see it? Share the vision, and proclaim the story. We don’t want anyone to miss His glory!
Patti Sauls lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with her husband Scott and daughters, Abby and Ellie, where they serve alongside the people of Christ Presbyterian Church. Prior to living in Nashville, the Sauls planted churches in Kansas City and Saint Louis and served at New York City’s Redeemer Presbyterian Church. A trained speech therapist, Patti also enjoys serving behind the scenes, hiking with friends, and reading good books.