Most religions in the world worship to please their god and satisfy his anger. This is not the case in the Christian Faith. In the Christian Faith, Christians are to worship because God has already forgiven our sin.
While many Christians attend church out of obedience to God and for the purpose of serving and giving to God what He is owed, Lutheran worship focuses primarily on the Gospel as the reason for the church service. In the Divine Service, God comes to His people through His appointed means, Scripture readings, singing, and preaching the Word. He comes to His people in Holy Baptism, and especially in the Lord’s Supper. He comes to His children and says, “Here given and shed for you for the forgiveness of your sin.”
In the Lutheran service it is God who gives and the people who receive. Naturally, little children are thankful when they receive great and grand gifts from their parents. Psalms 2:11 “Worship the LORD with reverence, And rejoice with trembling.” Jesus told the woman at the well that the day was coming and is now here when “the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth.” John 4:23
So also as God the Father brings His Word and Sacraments to us each Sunday, we the congregation respond with reverence and rejoicing. Col. 3:16 “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”
In order to maintain the distinction between Law and Gospel and between God’s gifts and our response, authentic Lutherans use the historic liturgies of the Church. Authentic Lutherans do so because the liturgy, nearly every word, has been drawn from the Holy Scripture. Liturgical worship is nothing more than using the forms, prayers, and promises of God drawn straight from the Bible itself. Many churches, “Lutheran” included, have abandoned the historic language and liturgies of the Church. In so doing they have corrupted the true worship of God and have shifted the service from being Christ-centered (focusing on what Christ has done and gives to us in worship) to what we can do and how we feel toward God. In other words, they have taken the church service from a Gospel centered activity to a Law centered activity.
Many Christians have confused God pleasing worship with entertainment style “services.” But there is a very big difference between a divine service and a show. The Word of God commands us to worship in reverence, in spirit, in humility, and in truth, the Gospel truth. Worship is to be based on the doctrine/teachings of God’s Word in both the Old and New Testaments.
Immanuel Ev. Lutheran remains committed to the true forms of worship as set forth in the Scripture itself. We use The Lutheran Hymnal in our service. When special services are called for, as in the case of major festivals, Pastor Stanford is careful to draw the liturgy together from the approved and God pleasing forms found in other authentic Lutheran hymnals. In this way, those who worship at Immanuel will be able to distinguish between the Law and Gospel, thereby receiving God’s good and gracious gifts and responding as thankful children of God.
Come to Immanuel Ev. Lutheran Church where the Word of God, the Sacraments, and the liturgy are rightly used.