Pastor S. Kim Peterson
Dear Friends In Christ,
Part I – The Liturgy, it is boring to some and exciting to others. Musicians from churches of other denominations are willing to fill in as long as they do not have to do the liturgy. It frightens them.
However, the liturgy is timeless, uniting us to the church throughout the ages. In the early church the liturgy served as about the only instruction many converts received. The liturgy expresses our understanding of scripture. It has been referred to as “Prayed Doctrine”.
As you will see in this series, the liturgy is from the Bible. Prayers and creeds were added. Martin Luther and other Reformers put the liturgy into the language of the people as well as removing objectionable prayers. Hymns have been added. And the sermon became a vital segment to the Worship Service.
In times of persecution the liturgy has served to strengthen weakened knees and struggling hearts. Consider ourselves. Our hymnals could be taken from us but we could still say the liturgy with very little prompting.
We begin our liturgy in the Name of the Father – the source of our salvation, and the Son – through whom we dare to approach the Father, and the Holy Spirit – the third person of the Holy Trinity who gives us faith. We cannot say Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 3:12).
The service continues with the invitation to the sinner to come before the Lord. It is a difficult portion of the service, as we must admit as to what we are. As sinners we are not worthy of God the Father. The words of scripture are spoken:
“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. But is we confess our sins, God who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:8-9
If there is anything we do not care to admit to, it’s being sinful. Admitting to being a sinner means that others could be better than we are, or that we could think of ourselves as better than others. Being sinners places all of us in the same boat. We do not like to think of being in that place of being unworthy of God, of being dead in our sins.
In the eyes of God there is no degree of sin. A sin is a sin no matter how great or how small in our eyes. We make our confession – what we have done and left undone, we have not loved God with our whole hearts. These are painful words to speak.
The Good News is now spoken. Christ was given to die for our sake and God forgives us.Words to be spoken, proclaimed, to the broken down and lost sinner, to us. They must be proclaimed. That is why we cannot sit back in our easy chair at home and say “I know God loves me and forgives me.” We must hear the Proclamation.
These words are like a family speaking to one another. We know parents love each other. We know they love the kids. Just knowing is not enough. We need the love proclaimed. We need to hear the word spoken. We need to feel the hug of love. By not participating we miss the proclamation.
There is nothing more to be said than “AMEN!” The word meaning “Let it be so”.
Yes, let it be so. We are ready to converse with our Lord in prayer, in hymns, in listening to his Word, and receiving the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Liturgy, it’s an old friend who guides us in the worship of our Lord. Learn more about it, put more thought into it, teach it to our young people, and experience this rich gift passed down through the ages. Minute Bible Study – Liturgy Part I
Continue learning about the Lutheran Service:
Pastor Kim Peterson