The following is an excerpt from an essay that the late Rev. Dr. A. L. Barry, former president of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, prepared for a Worship conference on February 6, 1998.
The Main Purpose of Lutheran Worship Is to Receive God’s Gifts
“If you were to ask most people what “worship” is, they might say,” Worship is praising the Lord” or “Worship is what human beings do to express their thanks to God” or “Worship is going to church,” or something like that. While there is some truth to each of these answers, they do not adequately describe the main purpose of Lutheran worship.
We Lutherans have a unique perspective on worship. We know that God’s Word and His holy Sacraments are His precious gifts to us. They are the tools the Holy Spirit uses to give us forgiveness, life and salvation. The main purpose of Lutheran worship is to receive these gifts from God. Our Lutheran Confessions explain this truth as follows: “The service and worship of the Gospel is to receive good things from God” (Apology to the Augsburg Confession, Article IV.310).
I am not sure whether we have adequately emphasized this important truth. God gives His gifts. We receive them. That is the main purpose of Lutheran worship. He does this as His Gospel is proclaimed, as His Word is read, as His forgiveness is announced and sinners are absolved, and as we receive our Lord’s body and blood in Holy Communion. In these wonderful ways, God is present with us, His people, drawing us to Himself and giving us what we need so much–His mercy, forgiveness, love, joy, peace, power and comfort! The purpose of worship, therefore, is to be gathered by God around His gifts.”
We at Redeemer are a diverse congregation and because of this diversity we offer a wealth of worship opportunities. We encourage you to come and join us as we gather together as a community of believers and experience His redeeming grace through His Son Jesus Christ.
Opportunities to serve the Redeemer community during worship as an Usher, Lay Reader, Sound Technician or on the Sanctuary Committee are available for anyone interested. Speak to Pastor Kassouf if you are interested.