One of the distinguishing features of our Lutheran Church body is that it is a liturgical church. That is, the proclamation of the Word and the celebration of the church’s Sacraments are at the heart of our identity. Unlike Protestant churches where the Sacraments are subordinate to the preaching of the Word, in Lutheran churches the Sacraments are on equal footing with proclamation. The Augsburg Confession (part of the doctrinal writings of the Lutheran Church) defines the church as, the congregation of saints, in which the Gospel is rightly taught and the Sacraments are rightly administered. To preach the Gospel without proper administration of the Sacraments is to fall short of what it means to be God’s church.
With that Lutheran understanding of church in mind, the Drama, Worship and Music ministry team recommends a change in our worship habits. With the consent of the church council, this month we will begin including the celebration of the Lord’s Supper in each 9 a.m. service (as we already do at the 10:30 service). We will maintain the orders of worship as we continue to alternate between a service where the emphasis is on “proclamation of the Gospel” (service of the Word) and a service where the emphasis is on the “administration of the Sacraments” (the liturgical setting for Holy Communion). This change in worship will better express our Lutheran identity and better express our confessional base as centered in the proclamation of the Word of God AND the administration of the sacraments.
I will set aside two Wednesday evening Bible studies for the purposes of exploring this Lutheran identity of church, so that we can better appreciate the role of the Lord’s Supper as part of our regular worship.
Blessed New Year!