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Most CRC worship services begin with God's greeting.

Does anyone know the origin of this tradition? 

I have a very hard time using a text out of context to greet the worshippers on a Sunday morning,

and just as much difficulty hearing someone speak for God just because they have been ordained.

I understand the parting blessing, it has its roots in Numbers 6,

but what is the precedent for a "God's Greeting"?


My trusty Worship Sourcebook says this about the opening elements of worship in general:

"The opening actions of a worship service should clearly establish worship’s purpose. They should make clear that in worship a congregation is called to listen to God and to respond in faith and prayer. This suggests three kinds of actions — a clear statement of God’s invitation to worship, an opportunity for the congregation to respond in praise, and some action that reinforces the public, communal nature of worship." (p. 45)

Then, about God's greeting in particular, it says:

"The words of greeting establish the lines of communication in worship. God always comes to us before we come to God. So it is fitting for worship to begin with scriptural words that convey God’s greeting to us (historically referred to in some traditions as the 'salutation')." (p. 56)

When I lead in the greeting, I sometimes remind the congregation that the words I use do not originate with me, but with God.  Not only do the people of the church welcome each other, but God Himself is delighted we have responded to His call to worship and let's us know that when we hear His greeting.  God's greeting reminds me and the congregation that God is present as we worship.

As for the history of the greeting, I suspect that goes wa-a-a-y back, but I'll have to leave that for someone else to answer.

Peace to you.

I just "googled" the phrase "history of god's greetings bible" and I was presented with an interesting history-timeline.

Take a look...wishing you the best in your search.

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