As a congregation we have "worship" every Sunday at 10am. But what do we mean by that word, "worship"? The word is used in a variety of ways even within the church. In a sense, our entire lives are lives of worship. As God's people, we are His witnesses in our daily lives through our words and deeds. Our daily prayers, reading of Scripture, and serving our neighbor are acts of worship. But more specifically, we come together to worship as God's people gathered physically in one place at the same time on Sunday morning. This worship service, or Divine Service, is primarily a time when God is giving something to us. God is acting. God is serving us. God is feeding us His Word in our ears and the very body and blood of Jesus in our mouths.
In his book, The Fire and the Staff, Pastor Klemet Preus has this to say about the Divine Service, "If the Divine Service is viewed primarily as our praising God, then you can do that just as well at home. In fact, once we have looked at the topic of vocation, you will see that we can serve God better in the world than in the church building. But if the service is understood as God giving us the forgiveness of sins, then you've got to be there. It is very possible that the low attendance at Sunday services seen in so many churches today is a reflection of how we define the service. If I am acting, then I can do it at another time. If God is acting, I better be there."
We do not need to make God happy with us. We cannot manipulate God by what we do. Through faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus, the Lord already delights in us calling us His children. God wants us in worship for our benefit not His, so He can serve us. Worship starts with God. He comes to us with His gifts. We respond with our thanks and praise, our tithes and offerings. The opportunity to come together as God's people on a Sunday morning to receive His gifts is a great blessing. Let us not give up meeting together!
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