The word worship can…mislead us. The word can sound as if the praise we give to God is the heart of the matter, as if we call this event a service because we are giving service to God. The service, rather, is first of all a service God renders to any and all who come. Everything is turned on its head. It is not just “worship.” It is “worship in word and sacrament,” worship with the giving away of the leaves and the fruit of the tree of life at its center. In astonishing mercy, God uses our assembly, our words, our actions with water, bread and wine, our place and our time, as the means of the presence of those leaves and this fruit.
Gordon W. Lathrop, Central Things: Worship in Word and Sacrament (Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Fortress, 2005), p. 21. ISBN: 978-0-8066-5163-7.