The Focus of Worship
As we said on the last page, the main focus of our worship is always on what God has done for us. You will notice that many of the songs we sing remind us of God’s great deeds on behalf of all people, especially His own. God’s greatest act on our behalf was the sending of His Son, Jesus Christ, to live a perfect life in our place, to die on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins, and to rise from death on Easter morning, so that we could have eternal life with Him in heaven. You'll find reminders of these important truths throughout our entire service.
The Order of Service
Jesus Christ is the center of everything we do as believers. This is especially true, when we gather together for worship. Without Jesus, we wouldn't even have a reason to worship! In worship, we open our hearts to receive His saving and empowering gospel. We, also, open our arms and our lips to offer God our thanks, our lives - our everything.
This cycle of receiving from God and giving to God characterizes each of our lives. It also describes the way we worship, when we gather together. To accomplish this, we use a form of worship that traces its roots to the apostles themselves. It's called liturgical worship.
Jesus Christ is at the center of liturgical worship. Some parts of the liturgy stay the same each Sunday. This makes sure that Christ is proclaimed and praised during every service. Some parts of the liturgy change every week. These changes make sure that we cover the life-giving words and actions of Christ, as recorded in the Bible, every year.
Each Sunday, the "main course" of worship service is the reading of Word of God. Each week a Scripture is read from one of the books of the Old Testament, one of the letters of the New Testament, and finally, from one of the four Gospel accounts. These lessons show us what God's will is for us in our lives and even more importantly, what He has done for us.
The Lord’s Supper
Twice a month, we celebrate the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper. This is the second chief part of our worship service. In the Lord's Supper, or Holy Communion, we receive the true body and blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ along with the bread and wine.
Through this sacrament, He gives us forgiveness that we can touch and taste (Matthew 26:26 – 28).
The Lord’s Supper makes a second statement, as well. It says, “We are one in all we do!” (1 Corinthians 1:10). We don’t know if this bond exists with our guests, so we ask that you would take the time to speak with our pastor before the service before joining in the Sacrament. We keep this practice out of respect for the Sacrament and as an expression of our love and concern for the truth of God’s Word and the souls of those participating in the Sacrament.
The sermon follows the reading of God's Word. It allows us to spend time, usually somewhere from fifteen to twenty minutes focusing on specific truths, guaranteed promises, and practical applications of one of the three lessons of the day.
The Lutheran church has long been known as “a singing church.” We want people to actively participate in worship, not just passively observe it. Some of our songs were written in the last several decades, while others were written as long as 1800 years ago by the early church! Feel free to join us in singing those songs with which you are comfortable. If a tune is unfamiliar or if you are uncomfortable singing, that’s OK! Enjoy the voices of those around you and focus on the message the song is proclaiming. One of the great strengths of our hymns is the powerful messages they share based, once again, on the truths of God's Word.
Standing and Sitting
When the President of the United States walks into a room, everyone stands out of respect. In the same way, we stand during certain parts of worship to show respect for God. We usually stand at the beginning of the service, to remind ourselves that God is present with us. We also stand for most of the prayers, as we turn to and speak with God. We also stand for the reading of the Gospel, because the words of Jesus Himself are being read. The pastor will indicate during the service when to stand and when to be seated.
Why Is the Pastor Wearing a Robe?
The pastor's white robe symbolizes the righteousness and purity that Jesus has clothed us with through His death and resurrection. Reminding us that our sins have been washed away, and we are perfect in His sight!
“What about …?”
We recognize that we may not have answered every question you may have about the way we worship. Feel free, then, to ask the pastor after the service, give him a call during the week, or e-mail him. He would be honored to hear from and help you!