Core Values: Liturgical
Over the past few months, we have been getting to know our core values: biblical, confessional, liturgical, and missional. This month I would like to address what it means to be liturgical.
This value addresses what we do together as we gather weekly for the Divine Service. And what we do isn’t just a matter of taste or preference. The content of our service really matters. The Sacraments deliver grace to us. And we gather to hear the living voice of the Gospel and the whole counsel of God in Scripture, preaching, and every other component of what we do on Sundays.
We also recognize that style isn’t neutral. We pay attention to the mode and style of worship of the saints who have gone before us. We use a historic liturgy, doing what faithful Christians have done for centuries. We don’t emulate the modern rock concert or stand-up comedy. For us to be a liturgical Church means we recognize the need to be reverent in our services.
Our theology of worship comes from the Scriptures and our Lutheran confessions. Acts 2 reminds us of the nature of the Church as they gathered around the Word of God and the Sacraments, “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.”
Our Lutheran Confessions tell us that worship is receptive, “So the worship and divine service of the Gospel is to receive gifts from God.” This is why we call our worship the Divine Service. We recognize that God condescends to come down to us and meet our needs for forgiveness, life, and salvation. Christians need this grace throughout our lives.
And this is why we gather. The Church offers something that we can’t get anywhere else. This means that our practices should look different than everything else out there. We don’t exist to entertain. We are distinct. We are set apart. And we have our eyes fixed on Jesus who is really present in bread and wine; water and Word.