One of the best descriptions of what worship is was written by Professor Norman Nagel from Concordia Seminary St. Louis. Dr. Nagel writes this.
“Our Lord speaks, and we listen. His Word bestows what is says. Faith that is born from what is heard acknowledges the gifts received with eager thankfulness and praise. Music is drawn into this thankfulness and praise, enlarging and elevating the adoration of our gracious giver God”. LW Introduction p.6
Worship does not start with us. It is a response. Where does Romans 10:17 tell us our faith and worship originate?
“ because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved”.
This verse is often misunderstood. Many think we are saved because we confessed. We are saved by Christ alone through faith alone and that causes us to confess.
What would the result be if we got this backwards?
What does it mean that with the heart one believes and is justified?
Read 1st Timothy 4:1-8
Dr. Nagel continues.
“The rhythm of our worship is from Him to us, and then from us back to Him. He gives His gifts, and together we receive and extol them. We build one another up as we speak to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Our Lord give us His body to eat and His blood to drink. Finally, His blessing moves us out into our calling, where His gifts have their fruition. How best to do this we may learn from His Word and from the way His Words has prompted His worship through the centuries”. LW Introduction, p 6.
Is Worship of God commanded in God’s Word?
What does God say about that in the 3rd Commandment?
What does Martin Luther say about that in the What does this mean for the Third commandment?
What does the writer to the Hebrews say about that in 10:25?
What does St. Luke say about the importance of Worship in Acts 2:42?
God gives His good gifts to us in many places, but especially in Worship. What gift does God give us at the beginning of the Worship Service in the section called Confession and Absolution?
See.1st John 1:8-9
What gift does He give to us in the Service of the Word?
What gift does He give to us in the Service of the Sacrament?
From Dr. Nagel.
“Saying back to Him what He has said to us, we repeat what is most true and sure. Most true and sure is His name, which He put upon us with the water of our Baptism. We are His. This we acknowledge at the beginning of the Divine Service. Where His name is, there is He. Before Him we acknowledge that we are sinners, and we plead for forgiveness. His forgiveness is given us, and we, freed and forgive, acclaim Him as our great and gracious God as we apply to ourselves the words He has used to make Himself know to us”. LW Introduction, p 6.
Read Titus 3: 1-11
God gives divine, good and lifesaving gifts. We receive them as unworthy servants. Our response is a life of worship.
”He saves us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to His own ___________.”
What does that mean?
How does God show us His Mercy?
What is St. Paul talking about when He says,
“by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us richly.”
Dr. Nagel says
“Where His Name is there is He”
In which places of the worship service do we hear God’s Name? (It might be helpful to use the hymnal and look through Divine Service 1 for help)
When you think of Worship, what direction is the worship focused?
Is it us giving to God or God giving to us?
A better term for what happens when God’s people gather around His good gifts is The Divine Service. Let’s take the words apart.
What does Divine mean?
What does service indicate?
The direction of Worship is always God given to us and we, in turn, give praise, thanksgiving back to Him. When you watch the pastor of Sunday morning the direction he faces tells us what is going on in worship. When the pastor faces the altar, it is called a sacrificial position. The pastor is like one of the congregation. When the pastor faces the congregation, his position is called sacramental. He is giving God’s gifts to God’s people.
At Divine Shepherd which direction does the pastor face for the Invocation Confession Absolution Kyrie Hymn of Praise Reading of God’s Word Where is the Holy Gospel read from?
Preaching of God’s Word Prayers of the Church Offertory Service of the Sacrament Benediction What direction does the pastor face for the majority of the Divine Service?
What conclusion can we draw from this?
What is the purpose of God’s Word preached and Studied?
See also 1 Timothy 2:4
What does it mean to “seek the Lord while He may be found?”
How do we seek the Lord?
When people are seeking career advice or guidance on making life decisions, they often look for answers and guidance from God.
Where do people look when they want God to “speak to them”?
Hebrews 1:1-3 directs us to the place where God promises to guide us.
Hebrews 1: 2 God speaks to us through His _________!
That should not surprise us because John 1: 1 speaks of the eternal nature of Jesus, only St. John calls Jesus something else.
“In the beginning was the __________ and the ________ was with God, and the _________ was God. Jesus is the ________ of God!”
When we are seeking hope, healing, direction and comfort we will find it in the __________ of God!
What does the term Benediction mean?
What does “Peace” mean?
We receive the Benediction at the end of the Divine Service. Where did that Peace of God that we are promised first originate?
When we look at what happens in the Divine Service, we begin to clearly see God’s great desire is to give us His good Gifts!
In the Invocation we are reminded of God’s Name put upon us in the waters of Holy Baptism for the __________ of our sins. In Confession and Absolution, we tell God that we have lived as if we were God. We have sinned in thought word and deed.
In the Absolution the pastor pronounces the Gift of the ___________ of all our sins, because of Jesus death and resurrection.
In the Service of the Word we hear God’s word read to us and preached into our ears. The law of the sermon shows us our sin. The Gospel which always involves Jesus is preached to us so we know we are __________ for all our sins.
In the Service of the Sacrament we receive Jesus in with and under the bread and wine for the __________ of all our sins!
The Gift of God’s Word, [Jesus] to each of us is for the _________ of our sins so we may have God’s promise of His Peace, now and into eternity!