Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about worship.
Perhaps it’s because the Worship and Long Range Plan teams have spent a fair amount of time considering what worship will look like here at GSLC in the future. Perhaps it’s because members and friends have offered well thought out ideas and suggestions concerning worship. Perhaps it’s because as Pastor, called to Word and Sacrament, I know worship is one of the keys to our life together as people of God!
Whatever the reason, I think now is a good time for us to talk about worship and so I’ve chosen worship as the subject of my next two or three newsletter articles. By the way, please note that writing an article is a one-way communication; what I need — what we need — is two-way communications. Therefore, I welcome your input. Please feel free to call or email me with questions or comments on worship and on these worship articles. Thank you to those who have already offered suggestions.
In recent months, there has been some conversation about changing the celebration of the sacrament of Holy Communion to every other week. Some have suggested that we consider offering Holy Communion after worship to those who desire the sacrament weekly. I need to be clear: as Pastor, I oppose this change. As space permits, allow me to explain.
- “At the table of our Lord Jesus Christ, God nourishes faith, forgives sin, and calls us to be witnesses to the Gospel.”1 Weekly we come to the Lord’s table where we receive the very body and blood of Christ, at this, the Lord’s table, sins are forgiven, faith renewed and we are strengthened in our mission of proclaiming the gospel.
- According to the Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Lutheran congregations celebrate Holy Communion every Sunday.2
All that said, and on a more personal note, missing Holy Communion leaves me with a feeling of emptiness. Holy Communion is celebrated as a meal, a feast in community; in fact, that’s in part where the word communion comes from.
As Pastor, I am truly blessed weekly to look in your eyes, knowing what some of you are going through and to share the words of Jesus “given for you.”
So there you have it, only a few of the reasons why I am in favor of leaving our Holy Communion practice as is. Again, I welcome conversation.
Peace and Blessings,
1The Use of the means of Grace, A Statement on the Practice of Word and Sacrament-The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, 1997
2Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Article XXIV