Monday, September 16, 2013

A Pastoral Concern: Where did you go on Sunday?

This past Sunday we celebrated another Divine Service.  We used the Common Service (version from Christian Worship: A Lutheran Hymnal, the official WELS hymnal). 

So this is where the Common Service took us:

To our baptism. 
          ("In the name of the Father and of the Son + and of the Holy Spirit.")
To our place in this world. 
          ("Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner.")
To Christmas and the angelic choir. 
          ("Glory be to God on high, and on earth peace, good will toward men.")
To the Prophets. 
          ("A reading from the book of Exodus, the 2nd book of Moses.")
To the Apostles.
           ("A reading from St. Paul's first letter to Timothy.")
To the mouth of Jesus.
           ("The gospel for today....")
To the generations of Christians who have gone before us.  
          ("We believe in one God....")
To the prayers of King David. 
          ("Create in me a clean heart, O God.")
To the throne of God. 
           ("Our Father, who art in heaven....")
To the glories of heaven and the angelic choirs there.  
          ("Holy, holy, holy Lord God of heavenly hosts, heaven and earth are full of your glory.")
To Palm Sunday. 
          ("Hosanna, hosanna, hosanna in the highest!  Blessed is he, blessed is he, 
          blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!")
To Good Friday. 
          ("Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world; have mercy on us.")
To Easter Sunday. 
          (Christ is here--not symbolically, but really.  He comes to us in the sacrament 
          and gives victory over sin and death.)
To the eternal banquet of heaven together with all the saints there.  
          ("Take and eat; the body of Christ.  Take and drink; the blood of Christ.  For you.")
Toward the grave, but now without fear. 
          ("Lord, now you let your servant depart in peace, according to your word...")
To the blessing of being marked as God's own. 
          ("The Lord bless you and keep you....")

There is no question that the historic liturgy continues to serve as a blessing for the Lord's Church.  It repeats the live and promises of Jesus and assures God's people that they will receive good things on that Sunday (especially when the sermon misses the mark or is just plain bad). 

Why would anyone want "something better"?  What IS better than this?
The Lord is good to his people, and the historic, western liturgy highlights that and repeats it every week.