Just as God drew the queen of Sheba to Israel to witness God’s favor upon Solomon, so God has bestowed His favor in the gospel of Jesus Christ” in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). While the queen of the South came to behold the favor of God in the son of David, the faithful Son of David, the eternal Son of God commands His Church: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:18-20).
As a covenant is a bond in blood sovereignly administered, so God’s covenant with his people was fulfilled only and ultimately in Christ. Therefore, all who are covered by the blood of Christ are invited to worship our Lord. We come not through another mediating prophet or priests or presbyters. We worship God only through our Prophet, Priest, and King, our Lord Jesus Christ.
God has graciously given us in this life His ordinary means of grace, of Word, sacrament, and prayer to worship Him. In this context, we may think of them as anti-idolatry means.
Because He is holy, for God is holy, He mediates for us the perfect holiness of God forever. Therefore, we worship the Lord in the splendor of His holiness (think of the seraphim around His throne) through the holiness of our Savior. And, our holy Mediator calls us to find our salvation, our hope, our sustenance, and our future in Him.
As we see and taste the bread as the sinless, broken body of our Lord, as we see and taste the wine as the atoning blood of our Savior, our right response is praise, praise for deliverance.
Partaking of the elements of bread and wine, we look to the sinless body and atoning blood of Christ. It is under the banner of Christ alone that we worship, looking to His perfect provision, and in His provision we stand fast in battle.
The world is searching for significance, and at this time for an affirmation that there is more to life than mere survival. Let us not point them to the idols of our culture but instead let us point them to Christ. For, only in Christ are we redeemed to do precisely what we were made to do: glorify and enjoy God forever.
In Christ’s church, he gifts and uses those called to his service but never for their glory. It is not without significance that even the title “minister” is derived from the word meaning “servant.” For, in the body of Christ, we are all called to serve in Christ: “There is one body and one Spirit…one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all” (Eph. 4:4-6).
No longer spiritually blind and lame, we have been given eyes to see our Savior and to walk in newness of life. We have been healed to worship him, not indignant like those who have no hope, but celebrating the goodness of God’s mercy and grace. Out of the mouth of babes, like you and me, we sing praises to our Lord Jesus Christ, who delights in the praise of God’s children.
In an age which has a low view of the church, this may sound startling. Yet, it is to the church that Christ has given his commission, commands, and keys. It is in and through the church that God matures, his children with his promises and presence.