The History Practice And Theology Of Christian Worship - Part 1
What you will read here is what I intend to cover in The History Practice And Theology Of Christian Worship - Part 1. The course which begins on All Saints Day 2017 will continue into spring of 2018. The course will be held from 9:00 AM till 10:00 AM each Sunday here at CLC.
The text book, besides the Scriptures, Lutheran Confessions, and church history, will be the Lutheran Service Book. The course coincides with three realities at Christ Lutheran Church.
First, Christ Lutheran Church needs new hymnals. Our present TLH's have been with us since 1941 and are in poor condition. No book can be used every week, for that long (76 years) and not show its age. And that is a problem. It indicates a certain carelessness, however unconcious, about what is most holy: namely Christian Worship!
Secondly, since we need new hymnals, we should get the church's current one which is the Lutheran Service Book (LSB), but we were prevented by several outside forces. When it was published in 2006 CLC was barely viable due to her shrinking numbers, and rising cost to care for her beautiful, aged sanctuary. Then, having sold our building, we spent the next five years sharing facilities with Unity Lutheran Church. Further, the LCMS was as topsy turvy as the the nation at the opening of the 21st century. The 9/11 attacks, ongoing terrorism, the financial collapse of 2008, and an LCMS President who was willing to lead our church body into wholesale "contemporary worship" suggested that stability was advisable. But a certain bunker mentality developed.
Thirdly we resisted because CLC became sectarian, and sectarianism is a sin. Staying with the old became not only a matter of stability, but a badge of honor that we wore with pride. This pastor helped to foster that pride, for which he now repents, and admonishes repentance to all. And trust in Jesus who is the propitiation for our sins, individual and corporate.
That said let us get into our subject matter. Today we will begin our class with Responsive Prayer I on page 282. Then we will pray the confessional service with which the Service of Holy Communion opens on page 184 (the new P. 15). The mechanics of LSB are simple, any member of CLC could open it today and begin to worship. But there is more to holy worship than mechanics.
The majority of the class today will cover 4 items as follows: 1) Lutheran 2) Service 3) Book. 4) Confession of sins. I cannot flesh those out for you here, the post would be too long for you to read. So come to the class.
But let us say briefly that Service means worship. It means to liturgize God, or in the words of our Lord: to worship the Father in Spirit and Truth. (John 4:24) This is the highest duty and glory of all men. Our worship is Lutheran. The name Lutheran is a confession of faith. It means that our worship is catholic (in line with the church of the ages), but not Roman Catholic. It is orthodox, but not Eastern Orthodox. It is Evangelical, but has nothing to do with American Evangelical (mega church, religious radio etc.) Rather it is the worship of the church of the ages, minus its deep-seated errors. In this regard the LSB is not perfect, but it is the best thing Lutherans have seen so far. Lastly, Book. Something needs to be said about the value of physical books in this day of many pixels. Peace in Christ to all.