Worship Does God’s Story: Robert Webber’s Last Sermon

Worship Does God’s Story

By Robert E. Webber, Th.D.

Sep 11, 2006 Healing Service

“Worship Does God’s Story” is the last sermon Bob preached. It was Sunday, September 10, 2006, at his church, Harbert Community Church, near his Lake Michigan home. Six months later he entered eternity following a battle with pancreatic cancer. Though weakened physically, the strength and conviction in his voice bear witness to the power of the Holy Spirit in this sermonic swan song.

Bob began his sermon by relating a conversation he had with a pastor friend who told him that he had no idea what the phrase “worship does God’s story” means. Bob concluded, if a theologically trained pastor doesn’t understand, it is likely many others don’t understand. He continues with a compelling description of God’s story—the redemptive story, the Good News—that is the glorious and essential content of biblical, Christ-centered worship. Bob’s explanation of both personal and corporate worship is priceless.

Personal worship is not about me. . . . [It is] contemplation on the mighty deeds of God. . . . Contemplation is very different than meditation. Meditation means to search out. . . . Contemplation is delight. Sheer, unadulterated delight! Contemplation, which is our personal worship, is: “Wow! What a Story!” Contemplation, which is our personal worship, is: “I got it! I got it! I got it!”

Bob Webber

Listen to this sermon and you will be stirred by the passionate heart of our founder, and you will be confronted with his consuming vision for worship renewal that birthed and has sustained the institute that bears his name for over two decades: The Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies. (By the way, his name was added to the school’s title only after his death. He wouldn’t allow it during his life.)

During the sermon, Bob quotes a portion of a 2nd-century Easter sermon by Melito of Sardis, On Pascha. Here’s a link to background and the text of this remarkable sermon.

Now, sit back and listen to Bob:

Robert Webber: Worship Does God’s Story

Read the Webber Quote of the Week
About the author

Alumni Director, Practicum Professor, and DWS graduate.