Tuesday, September 25, 2007

God is God and we are not

Words of wisdom from a young man...

It saddens me how so many congregations "chip away" at the rich history of Lutheran liturgy and worship and conform to the ever-increasing popular "seeker services" - and this is occurring to services with traditional music. Confession and Absolution is spoken by the Pastor in a way not to "confuse" unchurched guests. The "Bible reading" takes the place of Scripture readings of Law and Gospel. The sermon is turned into how Jesus can help you. Communion is an act. This list goes on.

It doesn't happen overnight. It doesn't happen through the efforts of one. It happens through Pastors that seek "better ways" to "connect with the lost" and forget the teachings that they confessed to vowed to uphold in their ordinations. It happens to through congregational members who forget or put aside the dear teachings of Luther's Small and Large Catechisms in favor on figuring out ways to grow their church.

It happens by forgetting that God is God and we are not. Christians are to come together on Sunday to worship God - not to attend a seminar on how to understand their life and how God can make it better. The timeless truths of Scripture and God's plan for us is revealed, but it is out of thankfulness for what He has done and humility and reverence and awe for the most powerful timeless loving being in the universe that we come together to worship Him! Liturgy - speaking, singing, chanting the words of God himself as revealed in Scripture. How can man speak more truthfully than with the word of God himself? How can man's feeling - sinful as he is, even as a new creation- be more reverent than the Word from which the universe sprang into being.

Just the ranting of a young Elder that wants to change his church. Thanks for listening.

For myself, I will never forget the relief of coming to a worship service where God comes to me, first and foremost. No longer do I need to come to church with my game face on - dressed well, happy, perfect children, sins neatly under control (not that I don't try to do that, in Christ, already). I now come to church to be reminded of my hopeless condition, then immediately being led through confession of my sins and be a recipient of the good news that I have been forgiven. My liturgical church service is a reflection of God, in that it is about what God has done for me in love because I am His child and am helpless to save myself. From that firm foundation, I am able to approach God with my singing and praise.

Borrowed in full from Cyberbrethren's excellent post on fear of liturgy, Lutheran Worship: Old School ... Too Roman Catholic? Thoughts on Lutheranism and Liturgy.