Over the years I have written several "book" or "booklets" and many, many, many newsletter and bulletin articles. Because the book market seeks writings to meet specific needs at specific times, my material has never been accepted. I have a tendency to write what is on my mind and so I am left with self publishing. So, with the encouragement from my wife and others, I am beginning this blog in order to put my "ramblings" "out there"! I hope you enjoy!
Please note that while my intentions are to use good grammar, because of the way in which some of the material presented here is presented (orally) the grammar and syntax might not always be the best English. Also note that good theology is not always presented in the best English so there may be times when the proper grammar rules are purposely broken.
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Worship and Dining Out
The other day I was thinking about how to understand the role or part of the laity in worship or better in Divine Service. The analogy I came up with was one of comparing attending Divine Service to going out to a nice restaurant, after all, is not Divine Service food for the soul as dining out is food for the body? Now please understand, an analogy is only as good as the points one is attempting to make, so please do not push this analogy beyond the points or you will completely destroy the point I am attempting to make.
When a person or couple go out to eat, to dine at a fine eatery, they sit down and allow the waiter or waitress to serve them. They sit, are given a menu, are offered drinks and appetizers, and a menu. They make their selections and wait to be served. They eat their meal, pay their bill and then return to their homes. At no time do they think, should I get up and help wait on other tables? Should I go and help or offer help to the cook or tell him/her how to prepare my meal? Should I help the server bring my meal? These questions would detract from the dining experience.
Now, what about Sunday Morning worship or Divine Service? When we come to Divine Service we sit down and allow our Lord to serve us. We follow the Divine Service offering our sins to the Lord and hearing His Word of forgiveness through our Pastor. We enter into His presence with words of praise from the Psalms. We hear our Lord speak to us through His Word read by our Pastor, the man appointed and called by God to deliver those Words. We sing hymns of praise in response as well as offer our first fruit tithes and prayers to our Lord. We are given our Lord’s body and blood to eat and drink for the forgiveness of sins and we have His blessing placed on us as we prepare to go out into the world.
Why would we question our role in Divine Service? Why would we suggest that we need to help God out, or help the one God appointed, the Pastor? Are we trained or called to distribute the gifts God has to give? Or are we called by God to come to the Divine Service in order that He might wait on us, that He might give us the gifts He has to give, through the means and instrument, through the man, the Pastor He has called in that place to give out those gifts. Attending Divine Service is the opportunity we have to come and be given to, to be filled with the gifts God has to give, our spiritual nourishment that we might grow in our faith and in our knowledge so that we might, as always, be better able, when asked, to give an apology, a defense of our faith, which is the most appropriate way of giving praise to God.