Many Lutherans, including those at Victory in Christ, utilize one of the church’s history liturgies for the Sunday morning service? But why? What is the liturgy and why do we use it?
Our use of the liturgy stems from our understanding of what worship is all about. God is almighty and all-powerful, and doesn’t need our worship to complete Him. Furthermore, we have nothing to offer God that He doesn’t already have. For Lutherans, worship starts with God not with us. God calls us to worship Him so that He can bless us! What a marvelous reversal. We come to worship so we can hear God’s word read and preached, can receive forgiveness for our sins, and partake of Christ’s body and blood in Holy communion. We respond to God’s grace in joy with our songs of thanksgiving and praise and our offerings.
Since the early days of Christianity, Christians have used a form of liturgy. Many of the parts of the liturgy present today were used by the earliest of Christians. So, in one sense the liturgy unites Christians of different times and places. Second, the words used in the liturgy are from the Bible and other early Christian writings. Much of our liturgy is drawn directly from Scripture. What better words could we say in the presence of God! Third, the liturgy instructs. Many parts of the liturgy are repeated each Sunday and this repetition fixes the words firmly in our minds. When age begins to deteriorate the mind or the eyes, those repeated words will still linger. Lastly, the form of the liturgy follows the pattern of how God works in our lives. We will explore this more in subsequent blog posts. For more information about the Lutheran liturgy check out this resource.
Rev Philip Schielke is the pastor at Victory in Christ Lutheran Church in Newark, TX.