HIS PRAISE IN THE ASSEMBLY OF THE FAITHFUL."
The psalmist in Psalm 149:1 encourages us to praise God in such a manner. We strive to do so during worship. What is worship? Below follow excerpts from an article found in the LELBA Handbook.
Worship is the congregation's central event. It is a place where we convene to praise the Lord in song and liturgy, to listen to Him through the medium of His Word, to give thanks to God for every good thing that He has given to and done for us, to supplicate to God and to receive the strength that only God can give us. Oskars Gulbis says of worship: "Worship is the heart of the congregation. It reflects its heartbeat."
We are at the mercy of greatness; we are not leaves blown in the wind. During our lives on this side of the Valley of the Shadow we are given access to the Creator, the Redeemer and the Sanctifier -- the triunal God. In worship we can most fully develop our relationship with God. We can leave our day-to-day routines behind and enter the realm of God's time and place. Scripture teaches that the kingdom of God is a future and present, albeit not complete, reality. Worship gives us a place and time to connect with God. Having received this connection, we re-enter our day-to-day lives with the hope of creating a part of the kingdom of God in our homes, workplaces and avenues of activity. During worship we praise God and, at the same time, receive His blessings. These blessings accompany us during the week and help us, even now, to prepare for eternal life. The Apostle Paul calls to us: "like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices...." (1 Peter 2:5)
Since the beginnings ot the Lutheran church, the faithful have conceded that worship is not only a place where we come nearer to God; it is also God's gift to us. We congregate around the Word of God and the sacraments that Christ instated. During the Middle Ages, the sermon was an almost non-existent part of worship. It was Martin Luther's wish to re-instate the sermon so that it would be just as important as Holy Communion. However, in the course of time, the sermon began to overshadow Communion. Luther emphasized that both the sermon and Holy Communion are essential to worship.