Thursday, August 8, 2013

Every Sunday Has It's Parade

Why do we sing a “processional hymn?"
What is the point of all this theatrical movement in worship?

Psalm 100 says “I will enter his courts with praise.”  We recognize that, as Christ has promised to always be present when we gather in His name, our coming together for worship is an entering into the presence of God in a special way that is mysteriously different from the way in which He is always with us individually.  And thus, we sing to God as we gather together, and as the cross processes, it reminds us of the presence of Christ, which is always among his gathered people.  The processional hymn unifies us for worship and signifies the “official” beginning of the worship service, even though we have already invoked the name of the Trinity, confessed our sins, and received the words of God’s forgiveness.  The confession itself has never been considered a part of the worship service.  Indeed, prior to the Reformation, it wasn’t included on Sundays.  Instead, the faithful were expected to go to private confession on Saturday, and somehow keep from sinning until Sunday morning in order to receive the Sacrament in a “state of grace.”  As Lutherans, we recognize that this isn’t possible anyways, ‘cause sinners gonna sin.  So although our churches still maintain the practice of private confession, we revisit it as a congregation on Sunday mornings to sort of “wipe our feet at the door” as we enter to worship.  The invocation reminds us whose we are, the confession reminds us who we were (condemned sinners), and the absolution declares the Gospel to us.  This establishes our identity as a congregation, and we assemble based on this to worship, unified in our singing.  In our church, songs sung before the invocation and confession are considered “pre-service singing,” because we recognize that our purpose for gathering has not yet been formally declared.  Next week we will discuss the significance of physical movement in worship. 

1 comment:


    Many believe that Ephesians 2:8 teaches that God arbitrarily bestows faith on a selected few so they can believe and be saved. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

    Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.(NKJV)

    Salvation is the gift of God, not faith. The gift God gives is forgiveness from sin.

    How do men receive faith?

    Romans 10:17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of God.(NKJV)

    Faith comes from hearing the gospel preached. Faith is not arbitrarily dispatched to a chosen few.

    Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greeks,

    Salvation is attained by believing the gospel. Salvation is not predetermined by God and forced on a select few by forcing them to have faith and be saved.

    1 Corinthians 1:21 For since, in the wisdom of God , it pleased God through the foolishness of the messaged preached to save those who believe.(NKJV)

    God saves men through preaching the gospel. God does not preselect men and the force them to have faith so they will be saved.

    John 3:36 "He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but that the wrath of God abides on him."(NKJV)

    If God imputes faith to all who believe, why would those who do not believe receive the wrath of God. Non-believers would have no responsibility nor capability to believed and be saved.

    1 John 3:20-23....And this is His commandment: that we we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment.(NKJV)

    Why would God command us to believe on His Son Jesus Christ if we are not capable of believing, unless He arbitrarily bestows that faith on non-believers?

    Jesus said "He who believes and is baptized will be saved.."(Mark 16:16) Jesus did not say God will give you the gift of faith so you can believe, be baptized and be saved.

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