to the Worship of God’s People From the Old Testament Through the Temple Period Until Today

Lutheran Worship: A Look at its Relationship

(To satisfy the requirements for the Doctor of Ministry Degree)


Rev. Michael W. Wollman


Table of Contents
Introduction Chapter 1: The Problem Chapter 2: The Context Chapter 3: The Old Testament Setting for Worship Chapter 4: Justification in Pre-Temple Old Testament Worship Chapter 5: Worship in Pre-Temple Era A. Sacrifice B. Music and Singing C. Meditation on the Word D. Prayer E. Synagogue Chapter 6: Worship in the New Testament Lutheran Church Chapter 7: Worship of Contemporary Lutherans Chapter 8: A Word About Contemporary Worship Chapter 9: Results of the Project Chapter 10: A Personal Evaluation Appendix 1: Unit 1 “Old Testament Worship from Creation to the Tabernacle” Appendix 2: Unit 2 “Worship in the Temple” Appendix 3: Unit 3 “Worship Following the Death and Resurrection Of Jesus 3 6 13 16 35 41 46 48 50 52 53 58 66 78 88 99 108 119 132


Worship of the true God throughout the years of recorded history has taken varied forms which have been used by God's people as a means of relating to their Creator. What lies at the heart of worship, according to Robert E. Webber is: God's continual movement towards the peoples of the world and the continual response of the people of God in faith and obedience.1 In some cases it is spontaneity that clearly establishes a moment of worship. Noah builds an altar to the Lord and sacrifices some of the clean animals and birds upon it in gratitude for God preserving them during the flood (Genesis 8:20). Jacob worships God and anoints an altar after his dream and promises to tithe by it and build a house to God around it (Genesis 28:18-22). In other cases the worship seems to have been planned and expected. The Sabbath day was set aside from the beginning as a day of rest and worship (Genesis 2:1). Its purpose is made very clear after Israel is delivered from Egypt (Exodus 20:8-11). Solomon gathers the people together to worship and dedicate the new temple, an event which took much planning and preparation and was clearly anticipated by the people (1 Kings 8). Jesus worshiped on the Sabbath as was His custom (Luke 4:16), demonstrating that worship was a vital and regular part of His life. Some common threads may be observed that connect the worshipers. Whether it

has been an act of worship in a field or tabernacle, temple or synagogue, house church or cathedral God's people have always set aside time and a place for worship of their God. Connecting with one’s Creator was a way in which man might seek out understanding or find purpose to his or her life. With regard to time, God’s people have always had occasions where spontaneous worship was warranted. After the flood waters receded and Noah was finally on dry ground, he immediately constructed an altar and sacrificed and worshiped God. This was not necessarily 1 Robert E. Webber, Worship Old & New, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1994) 19. 3

planned but a spontaneous response to God’s salvific act toward Noah and his family. However, as often as we might see spontaneity as the means behind an act of worship, we may also see the immediate revelation of God’s particular blessing to the individual(s). In other words, one may at first glimpse think that their worship was driven by a moment of spontaneity, however, at closer scrutiny the so called spontaneity is generated or driven by God’s act of blessing and, therefore, not truly spontaneous at all. Worship is God-driven. The norm for worship revealed in the Scriptures takes the form of planned time set aside in the believer’s life in anticipation of a revelatory communion with the Triune God. This study will show that there are five chief components to worship without which worship would not be God-pleasing, and therefore, truly edifying. The five components are as follows: 1. Worship is initiated by God’s action. It is conceived through God’s prompting, His Spirit, and shaped by His mercy and grace. The divine irony is that, even in the midst of man’s sin God desires a relationship with him. God therefore breaks down the barriers separating man from him and in mercy condescends to meet man. 2. At the heart of worship is the reception of God’s gifts by His means of grace. 3. The theology of justification by grace through faith must drive worship if it is to be Christian. 4. An altar should be present as a visible point of intersection between God and man. 5. The content of worship is not the story of man but the revelatory story of God and His saving grace which rescued man from his lost condition and restored him in a right relationship with God. It should, therefore, include elements of the past, present, and future works of God as an encouragement to the believer living in a sin-filled world. These five elements represent the minimum criteria for worship that lead the believer to a grace-filled relationship with his God. God does not need anything from men, including their 4

worship. God is all sufficient. Worship is for man=s benefit. One worships so that he might commune with his God. He desires that he might have faith, be strengthened and nourished in faith, and receive an opportunity to be the object of God’s blessing and perpetual care. The believer also worships to encourage others and proclaim their unity in Christ. It stands to reason, therefore, that Christian worship will not highlight man’s work but God’s work. This then becomes the framework by which the author will research and evaluate his own congregation’s worship style as well as the claims of other, contemporary worship styles.

Chapter 1 The Problem
As a worship leader, the writer comes into contact with the largest percentage of God=s people most frequently in the Sunday morning worship setting. It would follow therefore, that what is done in that Sunday morning time frame should be of the utmost significance to the 5

pastor as well as his flock. That is, what is done in that one hour time period will largely shape the individual’s view of his God and how he relates to Him. It is the writer’s belief that in the medium of worship an individual comes into contact with the Almighty God. In that meeting, a believer’s life is being shaped by the influence of the Holy Spirit as He works through the means of God’s gifts, His Word and sacraments. Here is where the believer’s life is confronted in regards to his sin. Here a man must answer for the evil he has done and speak to his Heavenly Father openly and honestly regarding it. Here is also where God reaches down in His love, mercy, and grace to forgive and restore the sinner through His word of forgiveness. Here the oil of gladness is bestowed as the believer is brought into a new or renewed relationship with God as he is absolved of his sins. Quite simply, lives are changed through the medium of worship. In his book, Heaven on Earth: the Gifts of Christ in the Divine Service, Arthur A. Just writes, The Divine service is where the world is made new in Christ as He comes to His people with the gift of himself through which we are forgiven, joined to his life, and saved from our enemies.2 In the worship event, God comes to meet man through His presence in the proclaimed Word and the sacraments. This holy meeting is called by God and concluded with His blessing. What a person believes is most intimately shaped by the way he worships. If a person’s worship is designed primarily to illicit emotional response, then his faith will be governed largely by his emotions. If a believer’s worship life emphasizes his works that he brings before God in worship, then his faith life will most likely focus on what he does to assure himself of God’s love. On the other hand, if a believer understands worship to be initiated by God, then his worship posture will be to reflect upon God and his gifts, and his faith will be shaped by God’s works for him, not his own meager attempts to serve God.
2 Arthur A. Just Jr, Heaven on Earth: The Gifts of Christ in the Divine Service (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2008)180.


What we do in worship reflects what we believe; therefore, what we believe about God should be reflected in how we worship Him. If this is not so, then what we do can only lead to confusion. How does this understanding of worship reflect upon the history of Missouri Synod Lutherans as they struggle with the questions and challenges regarding a traditional/liturgical form of worship? In the past, the way of worship has seldom been questioned by Missouri Synod Lutherans who have practiced a traditional/liturgical style. This search for a worship more contemporary in nature seems to be a relatively new phenomena in the Lutheran Church (if one is willing to exclude the introduction of new hymnals which has not in essence changed the liturgical style of worship but rather the musical settings). One might immediately cite the 1970's as the period of time when many in the Lutheran Church began to question the way all kinds of things were done, including worship. The Chicago Folk Service, Worship Supplement, and Hymns For Now seem to have been some of the first organized attempts to change the traditional liturgy setting into a more contemporary melodic setting with the guitar as the music medium and had many within the Lutheran community as advocates, especially in the synodical colleges. The argument seemed to go that the times had changed, people’s needs and wants had changed in regard to their worship, and the Lutheran Church needed to change too if she did not want to be left behind in reaching people with the Gospel. Traditional, liturgical Lutheran worship was becoming irrelevant to many. The emphasis upon increased numbers as the means of evaluating healthy churches went a long way to shore up the argument. This, coupled with the rapid growth of nondenominational churches with contemporary styles of worship has brought questions regarding the ability to continue to attract others to Christ using traditional worship styles. 7

The question arises, Are we seeking to prolong the life of a dying, some would say already dead, parent (the traditional liturgical style of worship) while others are eagerly embracing a newborn child (contemporary style of worship) with her whole future before her? Many speaking and writing for the church today suggest that the Missouri Synod is at least twenty years behind the rest of the world in making her worship relevant to the needs of today’s generation. Based purely on numbers, one can hardly argue. The results are evident. The largest churches in the writer’s geographical area are indeed the nondenominational churches and the Assemblies of God who use contemporary styles of worship. So successful is the nondenominational approach in attracting young people to worship, that our Lutheran high school has begun to copy its format to make its chapel worship more meaningful for the students that they are teaching. The reasoning seems to go like this: More non-Lutheran students are attending the Lutheran high school than in past years. Since a majority of these non-Lutheran students are from nondenominational churches, they do not use traditional styles of worship. In order to reach them, these students need to worship in a style with which they are familiar. As a consequence, many Lutheran high school students are questioning a liturgical style of worship as a means able to draw them into a deeper and more meaningful relationship with the Lord. The trend is not exclusive to young people. Many adults, having visited other Lutheran churches presenting contemporary worship opportunities, are asking the question, why are we not offering to our people this style of worship? A pastor of a worshiping congregation should be committed to doing all he can to provide an edifying climate for worship. He should strive to give his people a proper and spiritually enhanced understanding of worship that strengthens their ability to relate to their 8

Creator through the medium of Word and Sacrament. As pastor and worship leader, the writer desires to assure himself that the mode of worship he has chosen to practice has the greatest potential to convey to God’s people the mysteries of the faith by the gospel tools of Word and Sacrament. He also desires to grow in his understanding of historic worship practices and their impact on the life of the Lutheran Church today. This project will aid in achieving these personal goals and provide opportunities for growth in knowledge and understanding of worship practices throughout the age of the Christian Church. The writer anticipates that he will become more competent in his teaching and worship leadership as a result of this study. In addition, the opportunity to focus on the teaching of worship to young people should challenge the writer to examine the issue from a different point of view and learn to respond accordingly. The practice of choosing contemporary worship over traditional liturgical worship seems to be the dominant trend of many churches, including some Lutheran congregations. Many children, around the time of confirmation or shortly thereafter, are being exposed one way or another to a contemporary style of worship. The desire by some to embrace and promote contemporary worship as the only proper form of worship for the church today makes this project timely and relevant. There is a need to answer those who question whether the Lutheran Church is continuing a form of worship that will soon be or has already become outdated. The observation that people seem to be flocking to the nondenominational churches that practice contemporary worship has many Lutherans thinking they are missing something. Is worship to reflect cultural modes; if so, in what way? What is the reasoning behind advocates of worship style changes? Is it a dissatisfaction with the accuracy and effectiveness with which the gospel is proclaimed, or is it primarily an attempt to please a culturally-shifting people? 9

The writer suspects that this is not the first time an argument was made to make worship more culturally-blended. Many have argued that this was precisely Luther’s tack when revising the mass to better meet the needs of the German people. One objective of this project is to research this issue from the standpoint of the history of the worship life of the church. Worship forms seem to be fairly fixed from the Old Testament tabernacle and temple periods to the early New Testament time period and little change seems to have occurred. Certainly one can point out that the sacramental emphasis of New Testament worship shows some new elements involved in the worship life of the people of God. However, even taking this into consideration, the style of worship seems largely unchanged. Indeed little justification can be found from the examples of ancient history to advocate radical changes in worship style. While using traditional forms was no guarantee of faithfulness of God's people (faithfulness was a constant problem) nonetheless, historic, liturgical forms were passed down from generation to generation as a means of accurately conveying the faith. There are those who suggest that Martin Luther ultimately became the catalyst for radical change in the worship life of the church. Many have cited Luther and the Lutheran Confessions as justification for their departure from traditional liturgical worship to a contemporary type setting. Their claims that Luther and the Confessions label worship style as adiaphora are well documented. Vilmos Vatja speaks to these claims in his book, Luther on Worship: …Luther’s criticism of outward ceremonies sprang, not, as has been charged so often, from indifference towards liturgical forms, but from his concern for the Christian conscience, cramped and threatened by ceremonial laws.3 What do the Confessions say about modes of worship and what is the context in which it is said? Are there similarities to the historical settings of the church today and the church in Luther’s day which might prove helpful in sorting through all the arguments for and against
3 Vilmos Vajta, Luther on Worship, (Philadelphia: Muhlenberg Press, 1958) 29.


contemporary worship? Are the Lutheran Confessions even relevant as a source for guidance for worship in Lutheran Church today? Some would say no. Many advocates of contemporary modes of worship suggest that we are not meeting 21st century needs by appealing to 15th century writings. The church needs to be more relevant to the needs of these times if it is to reach the people who live in them. The author is reminded of the very real warning Saint Paul gives: For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. (II Timothy 4:3) The basic point is that one should weigh carefully what one does in worship over against the witness of God’s Word. We are shaped theologically by the way we practice our theology in our worship. If this is true, and if worship is to be seen as a lifelong activity, then confirmation instruction is an excellent time to teach the theology of worship to children. It is the writer=s hope that solid instruction in worship to young people will lead to an adult life with the worship of Jesus Christ at the center. This fits well with the objectives of the confirmation program. The desire is to help children and parents articulate their faith to one another and increase their love for their Savior by means of the use of Word and Sacrament so that their lives may respond in joyful service to their Lord. It is the writer’s belief that increasing an understanding of worship is one means to that end.


Chapter 2 The Context
St. Paul=s Lutheran Church was founded in 1850 and is located on eight acres of land in a small rural area approximately fifteen miles north of Baltimore, Maryland. The congregation has over 800 baptized members and an elementary school with 200 students, pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. The church and school are served by two pastors, fourteen teachers, and five support staff. A new worship facility and school enlargement was built in 2000 to accommodate increased growth. The people served by St. Paul=s ministry are a mix of white collar and blue collar workers and the average age of the communicant membership is forty to forty-six years. The congregation=s experience is largely a traditional/liturgical approach to


worship. The Lutheran Hymnal was the congregation’s primary worship guide until 2007 when Lutheran Service Book was adopted. Because the people of St. Paul=s have been traditional in their approach to worship, the call for something new and different is not a current issue except where it involves the large number of young people in the congregation. Some concern has been expressed about St. Paul’s ability to keep her youth if a more Ayouth oriented@ worship opportunity for them is not provided like so many other area churches seem to be doing. Though few in the congregation seem to want a contemporary service, many do seem to feel that there may be a need for one to meet the needs of the youth. The question which presented itself to the writer was, Ado the youth at St. Paul=s feel unfulfilled in their current worship context or is this only perceived by some adults?@ As a result of hearing this kind of discussion regarding the needs of the young people at St. Paul=s, the writer began to ask the young people what they thought regarding their worship at St. Paul’s. The idea for this project was generated from a discussion with members in St. Paul’s youth group. The young people of the writer=s congregation are currently being becoming familiar through their schools and friends, with a genre of worship which is being called modern/contemporary worship, and many are being convinced that what they are doing in St Paul’s is outdated and inadequate at best or just plain not suitable at worst. In addition, the Missouri Synod national youth gatherings often feature contemporary styles of worship. Our young people are beginning to ask, AIf our synod is promoting it, why should our congregation resist it?@ It is imperative to articulate a definitive response to this situation. However, simply providing a negative response to the argument that traditional/liturgical worship is outdated 13

seems inadequate without providing an opportunity for new appreciation of what happens in worship. This, too, would be sought as an outcome of the project. The seventh grade confirmation class and their parents were chosen as the test group for the project. Their selection was largely on the basis of a desire of the writer to reach the students before they are exposed to the claims of contemporary worship advocates. Both the students and their parents would be given an opportunity to learn why we do what we do in worship and how it connects us to the Christian community throughout the ages while at the same time remaining relevant in the present. This would give cause for deeper reflection and appreciation of their own worship life and heritage. In addition, the writer has faced within his own circuit pastoral conferences a strong push to become more open to a contemporary style of worship. The claim has been made by various pastors in the circuit that those who are not undertaking a serious approach to implementing contemporary worship are, in effect, inhibiting the spread of the Gospel. It has become necessary for the writer, at this point in his ministry, to provide a significant response to those who are suggesting that his worship style is outdated and slowing the advance of the Gospel. It is believed that the research for this project will in many ways prepare the writer for a more thorough response to those in the ministry who are advocating the jump to contemporary worship as if the gospel itself were the justification for such a jump.


Chapter 3 The Old Testament Setting For Worship
If worship is to be seen as a continuum, then it would be helpful to identify unique segments of worship in each time period in order to observe how they have been carried through to the present age. The following is a review of several chief components of worship common to the Old Testament era. The first aspect to consider regarding proper worship is the fact that the meeting of God and His people from the time of Moses and throughout the history of Israel was initiated by God. It is God who calls His people out of Egypt and brings them to Mount Sinai for worship. God chooses the when and the where. Worship is, first and foremost, God reaching out to man in order to be in a relationship with His creation. Here He establishes a covenantal relationship 15

with His children, institutes worship as a central feature of the covenant, and sets aside one day of the week, the Sabbath, as a day of worship and rest. At that sacred time appointed by God, He comes to His people to commune with them. He calls them together into a sacred assembly, consecrated by His presence, and graciously bestows His gifts upon the faithful. Regarding God=s role in the establishment of a worshiping community, Webber states: First, the meeting was convened by God. It was God who called the people out of Egypt and brought them to Mount Sinai. God called the people to meet at the foot of the mountain where they became the ... Aassembly of God.@ In this is seen the prerequisite of true worship B call from God to worship.4 A day and time were set aside in the life of Israel in order that the form of the covenant might be renewed before the people and God Himself might dwell with them within the form and structure He had appointed. Having a time appointed for worship served as an anchor for the people and became the way they defined their day-to-day living. For the Old Testament Israelites, the substance of life was always seen in relation to the Sabbath worship or festival days. Their days were ordered around the Sabbath, and each day following the Sabbath was seen as preparatory to the next Sabbath. Indeed, God had deemed this worship time so important that a proper understanding of the covenant which he had made with Israel could not be reached apart from the context of worship. The worship life of Israel gave the covenant substance. Not that the covenant was lacking anything, but rather the blessings of the covenant were offered continually in the worship life of the people. It enabled the man of God to participate in the reality of God’s blessing then and there, and to look with confident hope to the future reality His promises depicted. All this took place in the context of Israel=s worship life. It was, as it were, acted out before its two parties, God and Israel, reaffirming the role each had in its existence. God chose the time; God chose the place. From the time of Moses, God even chose the form. 4Webber, Worship Old & New, 21 16

Israel simply complied to God=s directives in order to receive a blessing and to bless and praise Him in response to His goodness. A second aspect to worship in the Old Testament was that at the heart of worship is the reception of God’s gifts. As such God provided a systematic way of conveying His gifts. Worship was to be an organized structure. Moses would lead, but there would be parts to play for Aaron, Abihu, Nadab, the seventy elders of Israel, the young Israelite men, and the people. This pointed to participation as having been an aspect basic to worship. Worship was seen as clearly active and not passive. The people were to do the work of worship (i.e., the liturgy). They were not there to be entertained or simply listen. Having a relationship with their God required action on their part. Sacrifices were brought, hymns sung, prayers offered, responses given; hearts were engaged. All this was given order and form by God so as to keep the message straight regarding God=s salvific acts of grace, i.e, His gifts to sinful man. While acts of spontaneity were not discouraged, the normal course for worship was an ordered liturgy and the entire sacrificial system followed a very prescribed form. God was in effect saying to Israel, AThe story of your salvation is best told in the following way. Therefore, I want you to utilize My form that My saving acts never become obscured in the course of your worship life.@ This is the nature of Theocentric worship as opposed to anthropocentric worship whose primary focus is the activity of man. A brief look at a worship setting for Israel will bear this out. God used eighteen chapters in Exodus (Exodus 23-40) to lay out very specific directions regarding her worship life. Different people had different responsibilities (Exodus 24:1-9) and refusal to follow the Lord=s commands according to His directive resulted in harsh judgement from the Lord. The gifts are withheld and His wrath is the result. Note the following from Exodus 31:12-17: 17

And the Lord spoke to Moses saying, ABut as for you, speak to the sons of Israel, saying, >You shall surely observe My Sabbaths; for this is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the Lord, who sanctifies you. >Therefore you are to observe the Sabbath, for it is holy to you. Everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death; for whoever does any work on it, that person shall be cut off from among his people. >For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day there is a Sabbath of complete rest, holy to the Lord; whoever does any work on the Sabbath day shall surely be put to death. >So the sons of Israel shall observe the Sabbath, to celebrate the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant.= AIt is a sign between Me and sons of Israel forever; for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day He ceased from labor, and was refreshed.@ The Sabbath and the worship which was prescribed for that day by the Lord were strictly regulated and ordered by God for the purpose of making His people a holy people. This unique time set aside by God was to be for Israel a time where His almighty presence would be made known to them and they would have unfettered opportunity for communing with their Creator. No distractions were to be allowed and no other agendas considered for the day. Dyrness notes: In this case we need to remember that God himself decreed that this people was to be characterized by a careful performance of certain duties (Deut. 30:16). And while the New Testament has made much of this form unnecessary, it does not do away with the need for structure in our worship.5 In short, the structure of worship for God=s Old Testament people was driven by the message God desired to proclaim and the gifts He desired to give. And God was not open to variety regarding the form their worship was to take. If God=s rules were not followed explicitly regarding sacrifice, the main component of their worship, then His favor did not rest with the worshiper. When the facts are all present, one must assume that God was quite content hearing and blessing the same liturgical form over and over. This is not to say that there was not variety within the set forms. Different psalms were used at different times and prayers as well as the texts read were alternated to reflect the occasion for worship. Music too could change from week to week depending on the direction of the worship leaders. However, God is a God of 5William Dyrness, Themes in Old Testament Theology, (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1979) 144. 18

order, and that reflects in the worship instructions that He gave to Israel. From a practical level, it makes the most sense that the Lord=s covenants were framed within a consistent pattern to facilitate the unchanging message of God=s grace. A third criteria for worship in the Old Testament may be seen as the meeting between God and His people which was centered in the proclamation of His Word. God desired that His Word be known among His people and worship was the chief vehicle by which He revealed it to them. Although a revelation from God was not limited to the worshiping assembly; (i.e., God could and did reveal His Word to individuals at various times and places). The one place where God promised to reveal Himself was in the midst of the worship of His people. Note the promise of God to Moses in Exodus 25:8. “Then have them make a sanctuary for me and I will dwell among them.” And again in verse 22, “There, above the cover between two cherubim that are over the Ark of the Testimony; I will meet with you and give you all my commands for the Israelites.” God was to be known by His testimony, His Word. That Word would be spoken to Moses whom would then convey it to the people of Israel. So sacred was the Word of God to the people of Israel that it was encased in the Ark of the Testimony and always carried before them as a sign that they were being guided by God Himself. Israel needed time and place to hear God=s commands. In the days of Moses, God spoke His Word in the tent of meeting set aside for the purpose of worship, the tabernacle, and He spoke most often upon the Sabbath. Moses then would relay God=s instructions to the people. In the days of David, the temple was the place where the Word of God was proclaimed. 19

This may be seen as a unique approach to worship, especially since all the other religions of the day sought to relate to their gods in the observance of nature and the natural things around them. In Israel=s case, however, God came to meet them and speak with them. And because the meeting between God and man had the real potential for condemnation by God, He agrees to justify, and purify man by His grace through faith. This allowed man to anticipate worship with hope and provided the impetus for obedience to the word which God spoke. Paul and Elizabeth Achtemeier make note of this phenomena: ...Israel was being asked to surrender to a power outside of nature. God had revealed himself through the medium of historical events, and his will was not to be found in nature but in historical revelation, through the action and results of his spoken word. In short, the task of the people of God in both the Old Testament and the New is not to find God in the natural world, but to obey the voice of him who transcends nature as its Creator and Lord.6 The fourth principle governing Old Testament worship was the acquiescence of the people to accept the conditions of the covenant Word binding themselves to a continual hearing and obeying of the Word as the psalmist notes: Blessed are they whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the Lord. Blessed are those who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart. They do nothing wrong; they walk in his ways. You have laid down precepts that are to be fully obeyed. Oh, that my ways were steadfast in obeying your decrees! Then I would not be put to shame when I consider all your commands. I will praise you with an upright heart as I learn your righteous laws. I will obey your decrees; do not utterly forsake me. 6Paul J. and Elizabeth Achtemeier, The Old Testament Roots of Our Faith, (Peabody: Hendrickson Publishers, 1998) 41. 20

How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Praise be to you, O Lord; teach me your decrees. With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth. I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches. I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word. (Psalm 119:1-14)

Perhaps Israel=s commitment to the obedience of God=s Word can nowhere be more clearly seen than immediately following Moses= reading of the Law in Exodus 24:3: “When Moses told the people all the Lord=s words and laws, they responded with one voice, ‘Everything the Lord has said we will do.’” There is a solemn acceptance on the part of Israel to the Lord=s covenant with them. They bound themselves to it for the sake of their relationship with their God. He would be their God and they, by the evidence of their obedience to His covenant word, would be His people. William Dyrness states: The followers of God know that real freedom comes not when we do as we please, but when we walk in the paths that God has set for us. It was this that God wished His people to understand.7 The covenant reflected God=s righteousness and therefore, by the people=s obedience, they reflected their righteous God. Only by walking in His paths would Israel be free from the sin that had so effectively enslaved them. But could they walk righteously? Could they truly be free? Here Israel was forced to fall squarely upon the grace of God for no other avenue could secure for them the blessings of the covenant. 7Dyrness, Themes in Old Testament Theology , 144 21

The fifth criteria for Old Testament worship involved the inclusion of a sacred sign. The meeting between God and His people was climaxed by a dramatic symbol which had the effect of sealing the agreement between God and His people. In the Old Testament this was blood sacrifice. And indeed, as the author of the letter to the Hebrews points out: “Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (Hebrews 9:22). This blood sacrifice became then the means by which God=s faithful people could come before Him acceptably, that is, fully justified and have their prayers and praise filtered with grace to become a holy offering before a holy God. Upon point five, Luther writes: And here is the first passage of Scripture where mention is made of, or an offering. From this it appears that the custom of offering and of sacrificing sacrificial animals was not something new but existed from the beginning of the world. It is, therefore, nothing remarkable that the procedure at the sacrifices, which was continued from Adam onward to the time of Moses and was passed on, as it were, from hand to hand, was later on separated by Moses into its various kinds and put into some definite order after he had removed and discarded many features the empty superstition of men had added.8 The sixth criteria revealed an altar present or erected for the facilitation of worship. For every significant worship event or encounter with God, an altar seems to have been erected to mark the spot where God condescended to meet man and bless him. From the earliest times, worship seemed to include as central to the act itself some type of altar where sacrifice was made in thanksgiving and honor of the general or specific blessings God had bestowed upon the participants. The altar was considered a holy place from the moment of its first use and forever following. This was because God had descended in mercy and grace to be with man and to grant His blessing to the faithful worshiper. The believer, therefore, revered the place of meeting where God had come down to him in mercy. J. H. Kurtz writes regarding the altar of the tabernacle which God prescribed to be built: 8Jeroslav Pelikan, ed. Luther=s Works; Lectures on Genesis, Chapters 1-5, Volume 1, (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1958) 247. 22

But the altar which Jehovah caused to be built was not merely the raising of earth towards heaven where God had dwelt since sin had drove Him from theearth, but also the place where heaven itself, or rather where He who fills heavenwith His glory, came down to meet the rising earth; not only the spot where man offered his gifts to Jehovah, but also the spot where God came to meet the gifts of man and gave His blessing in return.9 An altar was therefore built to facilitate worship, or if God had deigned to visit man in an unexpected place, an altar would be built after the fact to mark and honor the place God had communed with man. The story of Cain and Abel is the first occasion of a worship setting where one observes an altar in place and sacrifices being brought before the Lord as thank-offerings for blessings bestowed upon the participants. In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. (Genesis 4:3-5a) The story reads as if this were the normal practice for Cain and Abel, and, therefore, it may be assumed this format was given them by their parents, Adam and Eve. Luther remarks: In the first place we are reminded here that Adam and Eve, as pious parents, preached often and much to their children about the will and worship of God, inasmuch as both bring an offering to God . . . Perhaps the pious parents delivered these discourses before their children in a definite place and particularly on the Sabbath. By these sermons, accordingly, the children were prompted to bring sacrifices and to worship God.10 This simple pattern continues through Noah, as he is led to give thanks regarding God=s saving grace following the exit from the ark and to make a sacrificial offering upon a makeshift altar.

Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it. (Genesis 8:20)

9J.H. Kurtz, Offerings, Sacrifices and Worship in the Old Testament, (Peabody, Hendrickson Publishers, 1998) 45 10Pelikan, ed. Luther’s Works: Lectures on Genesis, Volume 1, 246. 23

It is immediately followed with a covenant established by God for Noah and his family=s benefit which demonstrated God=s approval of Noah=s act of worship. I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be cut off by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth. (Genesis 9:11). The pattern: God blesses, an offering is made, God responds with His covenant. This pattern continues through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and may be seen in the following texts: The Lord appeared to Abram and said, ATo your offspring I will give this land. So he built an altar there to the Lord, who had appeared to him. From there he went on toward the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord. (Genesis 12:7-8) That the Lord appeared to him [Isaac] and said, AI am the God of your father Abraham. Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bless you and increase the number of your descendants for the sake of my servant Abraham. Isaac built an altar there and called on the name of the Lord. (Geneses 26:24-25a) After Jacob returned from Paddan Aram, God appeared to him again and blessed him. God said to him, AYour name is Jacob, but you will no longer be called Jacob; your name will be Israel.@ So he named him Israel. And God said to him, AI am God Almighty, be fruitful and increase in number. A nation and a community of nations will come from you, and kings will come from your body. The land I gave to Abraham and Isaac I also give to you, and I will give this land to your descendants after you.@ The God went up from him at the place where he had talked with him. Jacob set up a stone pillar at the place where God had talked with him, and he poured out a drink offering on it; he also oil on it. Jacob called the place where God had talked with him Bethel. (Genesis 35:9-14) It was at the time of Moses where God set a specific pattern as the appropriate format for worship of Him in the Old Testament. Eventually in Exodus 24:1-8, Moses was given specific directions by God regarding a proper worship format for His people Israel.

Then he said to Moses, ACome up to the Lord, you and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel. You are to worship at a distance, but Moses alone is to approach the Lord; the others must not come near. And the people may not come up with him.@ When Moses went and told the people all the Lord=s words and laws, they responded with one voice, AEverything the Lord has said we will do.@ Moses then 24

wrote down everything the Lord had said. He got up early the next morning and built an altar at the foot of the mountain and set up twelve stone pillars representing the twelve tribes of Israel. Then he sent young Israelite men, and they offered burnt offerings and sacrificed young bulls as fellowship offerings to the Lord. Moses took half of the blood and put it in bowls, and the other half he sprinkled on the altar. Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it to the people. They responded, Awe will do everything the Lord has said; we will obey.@ Moses then took the blood, sprinkled it on the people and said, Athis is the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words. The preceding six criteria then become the basis for acceptable worship of God in the Old Testament from the time of Moses through the time of David and Solomon.

Finally, while not a specific criterion, it is important to note Aproximity@ as significant to a proper understanding of the theological content of God=s message of grace and mercy through the medium of worship. From the very beginning, Adam and Eve walked with God in the garden. His presence brought perfect peace and pleasure to the first parents and their fellowship or communion with God was perfect. However, immediately following their disobedience and sin the first couple could be found hiding from the presence of God. Fear and shame were the responses to God=s immediate presence. Throughout the early part of the Old Testament when God drew near to man, man responded in fear and doubt. There was a distancing which sin coerced in the worship and fellowship of the Creator with His creation. At first this is seen as distancing between God and man as part of the curse which man had instigated by his sinful rebellion from God. Later, through the medium of Old Testament worship, this distance is seen as part of the blessing God had worked to protect man from His holiness which would surely destroy man without it. Barriers were commanded by God to protect man from His consuming presence. For example, when Moses asked to see God face to face God responded: 25

You cannot see my face. For no one may see me and live. Then the Lord said, AThere is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in a rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen. (Exodus 33:20b-23) When the people ask to hear God speak to them personally instead of through an intermediary like Moses, note God=s response: Put limits for the people around the mountain and tell them, be careful that you do not go up the mountain or touch the foot of it. Whoever touches the mountain shall surely be put to death. (Exodus 19:12) Once again distance was necessary for man to have a beneficial relationship with his Holy God. This distance may be better characterized as veiled nature of God’s real presence. God is near and yet He is holy. God’s holiness may not be approached by man in his sin without disastrous results. In the use of the tabernacle for the corporate worship of God, Israel was not permitted to approach God=s presence within the walls enclosing the tabernacle. Only the priests were allowed to enter as intermediaries. Even then, the priests could not enter the Holy of Holies where God=s local presence dwelt in the tabernacle except one day each year, the Day of Atonement. Israel worshiped outside the tabernacle and an intermediary went before God to plead for mercy and grace, then returned to Israel to tell of God=s approval or judgment. Indeed the priest’s only means of approaching God was through sacrifice. Sacrifice was the means by which God lifted the barrier of sin to convey His blessing upon His people.

So while God desired to fellowship with His people, certain precautions needed to be taken to protect Israel from His consuming righteous judgment and wrath and provide a path to grace. In the tabernacle these precautions were clearly and explicitly followed. It was through the worship of Israel that God would begin to draw not only Israel but all mankind back to 26

Himself. While God=s proximity in worship would stay the same, Israel would be drawn closer to Him through their worship settings and forms. These six ingredients became, by way of consistency and with the addition of Aproximity,@ the chief observable components of divine worship and served as the framework for what constituted proper form in the lives of God=s people in the Old Testament Tabernacle period. There is both continuity and comfort in the standardization of worship form and its repeated use throughout the Old Testament. With these six principles in mind, one might inquire if there are common threads which connect the Old Testament worship of God to worship in the New Testament? Another way of asking this question would be: Are there elements in worship that link together God=s people of all times and all places? Robert E. Webber writes: By accepting our connectedness with all of history and with all of God=s worshipping communities, our own faith experience and our own worship experience are bound to be enriched.11 If Webber=s answer to this question is acceptable, then it follows that the contemporary issues of worship facing the church today should also be examined in light of the historical witness of worship. For example, are there elements added to worship today which have the effect of obscuring the key ingredients of worship which God established for His people? What are the most basic elements of Biblical worship, without which one could not claim to have true Christian worship? Have the elements of worship changed from the Old Testament to the New? These and other key questions will be addressed within the scope of this project. Traditional liturgical Lutheran worship emphasizes the means of grace, Word and Sacrament, as its chief elements. Even the structure of the worship facility itself was designed to highlight these key elements. Is this a radical departure from the Old Testament or can worship be seen on a kind of continuum from the Old to the New? 11Webber, Worship Old & New, 94. 27

It is important to the scope of this study for the writer to review his current ministry and worship setting with respect to the following questions: Are there forms common to St. Paul=s Lutheran Church that are incompatible with Biblical worship forms which God has blessed and ordained as recorded in the Scriptures? Are there elements integral to Biblical Christian worship which the writer will find missing from his practice as worship leader? Finally this question might be asked: How do answers to these various questions address the new wave of contemporary worship style sweeping the country today? Ultimately the theology of worship involves two chief doctrines. They are the doctrine of justification by grace through faith and the means of grace by which the forgiveness of sins is applied to us. These two theological tealities are found throughout Old and New Testament history as central to a Biblical understanding of worship. They may simply be defined in the following ways. Justification in the Old Testament was the forensic act of God declaring man righteous on the basis of man's faith in the future work of His Son, Jesus. It remained the only way that God and man were able to bridge the gap between God's holiness and man's sin. The means of grace are the tools or ways (means) God uses to convey His undeserved love, forgiveness and blessing upon man. These two doctrines are central to a proper understanding of Christian worship as borne out in both Testaments. In the Old Testament man approached God's holiness, by faith through observing the Law and sacrifice, though their sacrifice was effective because only because it was grounded in the future sacrifice of Christ. As Dyrness writes: God had to instruct people how to worship Him not only because they did not know how, but because they were unfit to worship. They were sinners and so could not come into God's presence. The law provided for cleansing, for sacrifice--in a word, for redemption. That is, these instructions not only provided a way for Israel to express its faith, they also provided, from God's side, the way back to communion and fellowship once this had been broken.12
12 Dyrness, Themes in Old Testament Theology, 145.


In the New Testament it is the sacrifice of God's Son, Jesus, that makes this approach possible without fear of punitive action on God's part. In addition, the doctrine of the incarnation becomes the pivotal doctrine by which Old Testament worship is bridged by the New. Accepting that all Christian worship is a part of the sanctified life, an understanding of sanctification will also be helpful to this project. Scripture portrays how God works in human history to initiate a saving relationship with mankind. Mankind responds to his salvation by Spirit-led worship of his saving God, the heart of the sanctified life . What lay at the center of worship was the movement of God toward His people and the ongoing response of the people of God through faith with thanksgiving, praise, and obedience, i.e., sanctification. In short, people worship God because God the Holy Spirit draws them through His Word and Sacraments into a saving relationship with Him and to receive his gifts. Nowhere is this made clearer to us than in the incarnation of Christ. Here, in the incarnation, God comes to us, tents with us in the person of Jesus, and all his gifts are conveyed to mankind by the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus. Throughout the history of God=s people, since the fall of man, God is depicted as initiating a renewed relationship with man and breaking down the walls of sin that prevent mankind from having an intimate relationship with their creator. In fact, God may be seen as drawing ever closer to man throughout the ages until which time man is at perfect peace in his presence. This may be illustrated physically by the proximity of God to man in worship settings in the Old Testament Tabernacle where there are barriers erected as designated by the structure of the worship place. Only by proxy, representatively, is man moved into the presence of his God. Dyrness notes that:


Inside the Holy of Holies the movement of the priest on the day of atonement was an expression of the real movement of the people toward God, which God in His mercy was allowing.13 God establishes his presence and then out of mercy draws his people near, albeit by proxy or mediator. Later, in the latter part of the Second Temple Period, we see God as having lifted some of the barriers in worship and man being drawn closer to Him by being allowed into the temple to worship, yet at the same time still being denied entrance into the room of His presence except by proxy, i.e. the high priest. Finally, at the death of Christ, the barriers are lifted, sin has been covered, the temple curtain is torn, and man is at peace in the mediated presence of His God again. He enters into the Holy of Holies to be with his God because his sin is now wholly covered and through Christ, God=s Son, he is at peace in the renewed relationship that God brought about. But how is man able to make this journey back into the mediated presence of his God? Here an understanding of the doctrine of justification is necessary for explaining the movement in worship from distance to the mediated presence of God. The goal of worship may be expressed as man seeking to be justified before God and thereby at peace in the presence of his God. Only when man was fully acquitted from his sin (justified) would he ever be at peace in His presence. Therefore, justification had to be achieved before God and man's relationship could be renewed again. This is why the doctrine of justification is so important to Christian worship. God is unapproachable except through this vital act. Worship is impossible without it. God=s way of conveying justification to man is through the means of grace. Because God is a just God, fellowship with Him is impossible as long as man remains a sinner. A holy God does not fellowship with anyone not like Himself. Therefore it was necessary for God to create certain

13 Webber, Worship Old & New, 34.


Ameans@ which would enable man to come into His presence and meet the requirements for holiness. Robert E. Webber, in his book Worship Old and New writes: Israel knew of God's glory and holiness, and they knew that they could only approach God on his terms. Here, through the space, rituals, and ministry of the tabernacle, Israel had a clearly defined way to approach the Holy One and live in the presence of God.14 These Ameans@ in the Old Testament, took the form of three major acts. First, there was circumcision (Genesis 17:10-11). It was necessary for the shedding of blood in the Old Testament to ensure the forgiveness of sins (Hebrews 9:12). Circumcision was the first way which God included an Israelite into His covenant which placed the individual justified before Him. When a child was circumcised, he was deemed covered from the condemnation of the law and set apart as holy unto God. This was not the work of the child but wholly the work of God in His grace bestowing upon the child a covenantal relationship that included the justification of the beneficiary. Note God’s word to Moses in Genesis 17:10, 14: You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be a sign of the covenant between me and you…Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant. Second was ritual cleansing. This act set apart (consecrated) ones’ entire body to the Lord (Genesis 35:2). The outward cleansing symbolized the inner cleansing which was needed in order to have fellowship with God. Man=s heart had to be cleansed of its sinfulness. Washing with water reminded him of his need and God=s grace; that is, His willingness to consider man's sin washed clean. Therefore, before the priest, as the representative for Israel, attempted any worship of God, he needed to be cleansed with water. First, his entire body was to be cleansed, (Exodus 29:4; Leviticus 8:6) as in the consecration of the priests and later the feet and hands to purify themselves before rendering service in the tabernacle (Exodus 30:17-21). Water
14 Webber, Worship Old & New, 34.


purification was used for the people too. Before meeting God on the mountain, God commands that the people be consecrated and that they wash their clothes, a command that the people were to prepare themselves outwardly and inwardly for the meeting of their holy God. Baptism becomes its counterpart in the New Testament. Here God comes to man and initiates a relationship with him through baptism wherein His Holy Spirit is given, man's sin is washed away, and fellowship with God in holiness is made possible by the resulting faith of the recipient. Grace precedes each event. Third, there was sacrifice. (Leviticus 4:27-32) These offerings presented an alternative to God=s judgment of man by providing a substitute to take man's place. God judged the sacrifice guilty in the place of man and therefore judged man innocent (justified) for the sake of the innocent sacrifice. This was also illustrated by the eating of the holy meal derived from the sacrifice. While the fatty portions were consumed upon the altar, and the blood poured at the base of the altar and daubed upon the horns, the sacred portion of the meat was consumed by the Priest, in the case of a sin offering, as a type of holy communing with God. This meat was also ceremonially washed to indicate its holy purpose. The worshipper, having his sins forgiven, would return to his home fully cleansed from his unrighteousness and right in his relationship with his God.

These three things then, through faith, became the Ameans@ by which man entered into a justified relationship before God. They enabled him to draw nearer to His holy God without getting burned in the fire of His judgment. Each act was required repeatedly if man was to remain in a justified state. Moreover, each was ultimately significant for its ability to bring into focus the life and work of God=s ultimate remedy for the condition of man's ongoing state of 32

sinfulness, His only Son, Jesus Christ, the Messiah of Israel. This was God=s plan from the beginning and all of Israel=s worship life was continually filled with signs, symbols, and marks, whose purpose was to prepare them for the ultimate fulfillment of God=s promise to reclaim His children, to draw them near to Him, through the sacrifice of His only Son. God=s children would be justified through the Son of God=s fulfillment of the ceremonial Law in their place and His condemnation for their sin. This would bring about the reclaiming of the relationship with their God in perfect peace that they had lost through their sin.

Chapter 4 Justification in Pre-temple Old Testament Worship


This same theology of worship is carried through the time of Christ. However, it is important to note that during this time type gave way to antitype. That is, the symbols that would point the way to the Savior were then fulfilled by the Savior in the people’s midst. Worship in the Old Testament was driven by the promise of the Messiah. Therefore, all Old Testament worship was given its ultimate meaning and purpose through the incarnation, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Messiah whom God promised.

In the Old Testament, the presence of God brought abject fear of punishment for sin. There was always a distance, a separation, between God and man because there was always only a type to secure a justified relationship for man. When the type gives way to antitype, the sacrifice for the sacrificial Son of God, man is moved once again into God=s presence in his worship by means of the incarnation and discovers himself wondering what this presence might mean. Is it for the purpose of judgment that Jesus comes or is there something else? The answer is found in the suffering, death and resurrection of the Savior where man discovers that Jesus has come to bring about our permanent, complete justification and eternal peace with God. The incarnation then, bridges the gap between God and Man and Old and New Testaments, between Law and Gospel-- Moses and Christ. God dwells with His people face to face again in the person of His Son Jesus Christ. Webber writes: In the life of Jesus the glory of God that was present in the tabernacle became enfleshed and participated in humanity.15

But the Old Testament believer was not yet fully aware of the nature of this transition to be instituted by God. It is the resurrection itself that provides clarity to the blessing of the incarnation for man. When viewed through the eyes of the cross and ultimately the resurrection,
15 Webber, Worship Old & New, 35.


this incarnational dwelling leads to justification and peace and breaks down the barriers with God which man has erected by his sin.

The transition in worship from Old to New is effected through an understanding of how God is now present with His Church, i.e., incarnational theology in light of the redemptive work of Christ. Whereas the symbols of old spoke of the promise of Christ, the symbols of New Testament worship contain Christ Himself. In the Old Testament we find the people of God so terrified by His presence they beg Moses to ask God to speak to them through him instead of directly (Exodus 20:19). In the New Testament God=s people find themselves in worship invoking Gods presence with joy and anticipation, confident of the blessings they receive as a result. As such, Christian worship has seen itself evolve by God=s divine hand from distance (Exodus 19:12-13; 21-24) to intimacy in relationship to His presence (Matthew 18:20). This bridging the distance between God and man takes place through the person and work of God=s own Son, Jesus. He is therefore the only true way to get close to God the Father, and all true worship that seeks a relationship of grace and mercy will of necessity center upon Him. He brings us through grace into justification. This enables us to look to the Father confident of His blessing because the sacrificial price paid for us by His Son was fully satisfactory. Condemnation and judgment only enter the picture when we disregard the payment and seek another way toward fellowship apart from faith in the person and work of the sacrificial Lamb of God. The doctrines of justification and the means of grace when applied to New Testament worship are still articulated with the same goal in mind: to bring one into the presence of God by the means He has chosen, while at the same time being assured that His presence will bring 35

about blessing not judgment. The symbols indicative of New Testament worship must therefore be intentionally incarnational. Jean Danielou writes: Ythe Sabbath, by the consecration of a particular day of the week, was the sacrament of the consecration to God of the whole of history, which was also to find its principle in the resurrection of the incarnate Word.16 If one is to go to the Father without fear of His wrath, he must first be in Christ. Jesus Christ, the sacrificial Lamb of God, is the true means by which God has declared the world in a right relationship with Him (i.e. justified). That this Ameans@ or Apath@ in worship to the Father=s blessing is to be through His Son can be observed as the Bible declares: You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. (Galations 3:26,27) Take and eat; this is my body...Drink from it all of you. This is my blood of the covenant which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins (Matthew 26:26-28). Therefore worship may be described as an incarnational event; an event leading to a confrontation with the person of Christ: His Word, His washing, His body, His blood, and His blessing all being predicated upon His presence. God=s people do not worship an absent God who chooses not to be fully known. Instead, they worship a God who makes Himself known through an incarnational Savior who comes to his people wherever and whenever they are gathered together to seek Him. This makes worship a dynamic event with life-changing implications. New Testament worship becomes what may be called the culmination of all worship for it dwells in a participation with the Godhead in a way not previously open to the people of God. The worship of God=s people is therefore not limited to a visible structure for communion with God for the Almighty dwells within them. New Testament Christians take the place of the
16 Jean S.J, Danielou, The Bible And The Liturgy, (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1956) 224.


structure of the tabernacle and the temple for they are temple for the dwelling of Christ and His Spirit as it is written: Do you not know that you yourselves are the temple of the Lord and the Spirit of God dwells within you? (1 Corinthians 3:16) It is the contention of the writer that for worship to be understood rightly, it must be put in its proper setting in relationship to the Church throughout the ages. This makes a liturgical form of the utmost value for it brings to the worshiper an understanding of the past, a look at the present, and a participation in the eternal. It places the participant’s relationship with his God in the context of God=s overall plan to draw man back to Himself through His Son. God's insistence upon liturgical form is difficult to over emphasize. The history of God's people prior to Moses was one of floundering, confusion, and idolatry. They had forgotten God's name, His saving acts, stopped calling upon Him, and fell into the worship of false gods. The introduction to liturgical worship instituted by God through Moses served three purposes. First, it helped the people of Israel to remember their God accurately, in the way that He would have them know Him in the way that He had revealed Himself to them. It told them who God was and what he wanted of them.

Second, by settling on a liturgical form, it assured that they would keep God's message to them straight. The liturgical worship of Israel enacted God's message of salvation each time they worshiped, and by repeating it over and over again future generations would know their God as He had desired to be known and they would know how their God felt about them. The children would be brought to a working knowledge of God and His saving acts through the liturgy. Liturgy then became the means by which God makes himself known and the framework for conveying the message of salvation to His children. It also served as a preventative measure, 37

keeping Israel from straying from the truth about God and his acts toward man by not allowing for new forms and styles to take its place. Israel would be bound to its liturgy as they were bound to their God. The third aspect to the liturgy as it applied to the Old Testament worship of God's people rests in its future promises. Liturgy served as a revelatory tool giving Israel types and promises that would have their fulfillment in a future time that God had ordained. These types and promises kept the child of God vigilant for when God's saving acts might be revealed and would inform them as to what to look for. Dyrness writes: But the cult [liturgy] was at the same time typical. That is, it was prospective, pointing in its very limitations to what would be real in the future. OT worship was heavy with its future. The temple made the Hebrew long for the day when at last God's dwelling place would be with men.17 In the New Testament, liturgy serves to articulate a fulfilled reality. What was promised in the past and declared in the liturgy had come true in the life, death, and resurrection of the Messiah, Jesus. It still served to remind God's people of the nature of their God. It still remained a vehicle by which God and man approached and communed with each other. It continued to remain a sure way in which to keep the message of man's salvation straight but now instead of looking ahead to a future salvation, it declares that salvation has arrived in the person and work of Jesus the Son of God and Savior of the world. New Testament liturgy has a revelatory feature to it as well in that it leads the child of God to look ahead to the future promise of eternal life in Heaven with Him. Just as departure from the liturgy in the Old Testament most often meant straying by the people of God into false doctrine, so too apostasy is often marked by those in the New Testament who have ventured on their own in worship only to find that the message they once had which led to salvation radically
17 Dyrness, Themes in Old Testament Theology, 146.


changed when they departed from the liturgy. The saying, "As the liturgy goes, so goes the Church," implies that the method of worship has much to do with the accuracy of the message and the faith of the people. This is not to move the liturgy above the Word of God or the Sacraments but rather to denote that the liturgy serves, as it were, these precious gifts of God on a plate to the believer.

Chapter 5

Worship in the Temple Era
As Israel acquired a permanent land to dwell in, there comes a desire by David to build a permanent place for God to dwell locally and His people to come for worship (2 Samuel 7). David’s dream was not to be fulfilled in his lifetime but rather his son, Solomon would be the one chosen by God to undertake the project that his Name might dwell among them (1 Kings 5:3-5). While the temple was larger than the tabernacle, its structure was basically the same. Robert E. Webber writes: The temple differed from the tabernacle only in its size and its magnificence. Like the tabernacle, the temple continued to represent God’s rule over Israel; stood as a continual reminder of God’s presence; and continued to represent Israel’s approach to God through sacred space, sacred rituals, and sacred ministry.18 The structure for God’s dwelling place was prescribed by God. His precise directions for the construction of the tabernacle were given to Moses so that Israel might construct a tabernacle which properly reflected God’s will. The Lord said to Moses… “then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them. Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you.” (Exodus 25:1a,9). When moving to a permanent structure such as the temple, Solomon sought to remain faithful to God’s initial directives and constructed a temple that matches the tabernacle in its critical components. Menahem Haran comments on the similarities: The correspondence between P’s tabernacle and Solomon’s temple is apparent, first of all, in the articles of furniture that appear in both of them: cherubim and an ark in the inner sanctum; a table, a lampstand, and an altar of incense in the outer sanctum; a burnt-offering altar and water containers in the outer court.19 The same sense of holiness existed in the inner portions of the temple as the inner portions of the tabernacle and the similar restrictions were in effect. The Most Holy Place
18 Webber, Worship Old and New, 35. 19 Menahem Haran, Temples and Temple Service in Ancient Israel, (Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns Publishing, 1995)189.


was reserved for God alone and the high priest was the only one who could enter once a year on the Day of Atonement. The Holy Place was reserved for the priests alone and the Levites were not to enter. The courtyard was divided into a Levitical area, an area for circumcised adult male Jews (Court of Israel), an area for the women, and an area for the Gentiles to worship (see illustration below).

One might immediately note the similar layout but readily acknowledge some important differences. To begin, the corporate worship of pre-temple Israel was never permitted within the walls of the tabernacle, yet there was a clearly designated area in the temple in close proximity to the holy places for the people of Israel to gather and worship. On the one hand, God’s punishment rested on those unauthorized who would enter in close proximity to the holy places (Leviticus 41

10:1-2; Numbers 16:35); on the other hand, God seemed to permit a drawing closer to His presence, even encouraged it, through the building of the temple and having permitted Israel to worship within its walls. Not that Israel had open access to God’s holiness and presence (as if they could come and go before Him as they wished) but that they were that much closer in proximity to His divine glory in worship than they were in the tabernacle period. The priests, too, had a freer hand in approaching God through the temple service. In the Tabernacle, Aaron alone was assigned duties in the Holy Place. No one else was to touch anything there. Aaron’s sons may have been allowed to venture into the Holy Place, but they were assigned no duties there so there would have been no reason for them to do so. However, in the Temple, the priests drew lots to see who would be assigned the duties in the Holy Place. Any priest was technically eligible to serve. This represented a change from the Tabernacle and a greater openness for Israel to draw near to her God than in the past. Sacrifice would still be the conduit through which Israel sought fellowship with God. This sacrificial arrangement was carefully managed and implemented by the Priests and Levites and formed an integral part of daily life for the Jew. Worship life for the Jewish family involved much more than simply meeting together once a week for fellowship and prayer. There were daily services, morning and night. This created opportunities to influence the way of life for the Jew as inescapably intertwined with the role of the temple on a day to day basis. Edersheim makes note of this by suggesting that even the direction of the temple was highly significant to the Jew. But even when at a distance to Jerusalem and the Temple, its direction was to be noted, so as to avoid in every-day life anything that might seem incongruous with the reverence due to the place of which God had said, “Mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually.20
20 Alfred Edersheim, The Temple its Ministry and Services as they were at the time of Christ, (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1987) 64.


One could hardly rise in the morning without seeing the temple’s splendor and gasping at its beauty. The glow of its dome and the smell of its sacrifices were daily reminders of God’s divine presence and goodness. For the Israelite people, the temple was the holiest of places, a place that their God had chosen to dwell in his glory and would watch over them and direct their lives. Therefore, coming to the temple to worship was deemed a holy experience and the high point of their week. Indeed, the entire Sabbath day with its various restrictions was set aside to worship Yahweh as He commanded in Exodus 20:11 and consecrated to Him (Exodus 31:15). Roland DeVaux adds: Since, then, the sabbath was a sacred sign of the Covenant, to observe it was a guarantee of salvation; if an individual failed to observe it, he ceased to belong to the community, and if the people failed to observe it, they would bring upon themselves the punishment of God.21 Journeying to the temple on the Sabbath Day for worship was both a joyous and reverential occasion. One was not to come to the temple except for religious purposes so when a person made the journey up the mount, it was with one’s heart and mind on his meeting with God. On this Edersheim suggests: From these views of the sanctity of the place, it will be readily understood how sufficient outward reverence should have been expected of all who entered upon the Temple Mount. …Thus no one was to come to it except for strictly religious purposes, and neither make the Temple Mount a place of thoroughfare, nor use it to shorten the road.22 Upon arriving at the temple, a person would go his appointed place to worship (note illustration 3). Illustration 3

21 Roland DeVaux, Ancient Israel: Its Life and Institutions, (Grand Rapids :William B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1961) 482 22 Edersheim, Alfred. The Temple; Its Ministry and Services, Updated Edition, (Peabody: Hendrickson Publishers, 1994) 39


Areas closer to the Most Holy Place where God’s local presence abided were considered holier than the areas farther away from the presence of God; therefore, only certain people were allowed access to certain places. Hence one has the Court of the Gentiles which is located in the outer reaches of the temple courts. Since the Gentiles were not God’s chosen people and only given space by means of their connection to Israel as proselytes, they could not possess the sanctity that the Jews had been given by God as His holy possession. The Court of the Women came next and intersected with the Court of Israel. The Court of Israel was located through the Gate of Nicanor. It offered a view of the Temple proper, though not inside the Holy Place or the Most Holy Place. In front of the Court of Israel was the Levitical Court. Here the Levites who were not involved in the chorus or playing musical instruments, worshipped. The Court of the Priests was the holiest place because it adjoined the Holy Place and because the priests had ministered in the Holy Place and therefore assigned a holiness not available to the ordinary Jew. The worship in the Temple consisted of four main parts: A)sacrifice, B)music and singing, which was chanted by the Levites or antiphonally with the people, C) meditation upon 44

the Word; and D) prayers. A benediction closed the service. Each of these categories will be explained separately.



The heart of Temple worship was sacrifice. Two lambs were to be offered daily, one in the morning and one in the evening which was central to a worship service (Exodus 29:38-39). There were several other times when sacrifice took place, holy days, and various other occasions but for the ordinary course of worship two lambs were offered. The sacrifice was important to worship for three reasons which follow. First, the sacrifices offered were domesticated animals and/or common vegetables. These were the staples that man needed to live. By sacrificing these, man was acknowledging that God was the owner of all that he possessed. He sacrificed to return to God a portion of that which was truly His. Destruction of the offering was necessary to make the sacrifice an irrevocable gift. De Vaux states: … destruction makes the offering useless, and makes it, therefore, an irrevocable gift. This idea harmonizes with a wider concept, that everything which is consecrated to God must be withdrawn from profane use; …23 Second, sacrificing was a way of giving something to God. The consumption of the sacrifice relegated it to the realm of the heavens. In a sense it rendered it invisible and therefore heavenly. The smoke from the sacrifice was lifted up and seen by the worshiper as going to God. Likewise, the altar was a symbol of God’s presence, so to sacrifice upon the altar was to sacrifice in the presence of God. Again De Vaux writes: All other parts which are given back to God are destroyed upon the altar, and they take a spiritual form as they rise in smoke from the altar towards him. The offering is thus brought into contact with the symbols of God’s presence, and brought as close as possible to him.24
23 DeVaux, Ancient Israel: Its Life and Foundations, 452. 24 DeVaux, Ancient Israel: Its Life and Institutions, 452


Third, sacrifice promoted fellowship with God though not always to the worshiper’s benefit (Isaiah 1:11-17). It was the condition of the heart of the one who brought the sacrifice that was acceptable or found wanting by God (Psalm 51:17). In the case of corporate worship, at times it was Israel’s heart that was found displeasing to God. This in turn brought judgment from God. Nonetheless, sacrifices as a rule were welcomed and blessed by God when heartfelt worship was present (Psalm 51:19). It should be noted that it was not intended that the sacrifice receive the transference of the sin of the worshiper to the victim. This happened with the scapegoat, which was not killed. It did not occur with the common sacrifice. On the contrary, it was because the sacrifice was deemed pure that God accepted it as proper for communion with him. The blood which was drained from the animal was given to God for its life was in the blood and all life belonged to God. Therefore a holy, pure, innocent sacrifice was a fitting sign for what was to come in Christ himself. He would, by His innocence, do what we could not. As John the Baptist so aptly pointed out, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). Again De Vaux notes: The fact that the fat was burnt on the altar, and that the meat of sacrifices offered for the sins of private individuals was eaten by the priests ‘as a most holy thing’ (Lev. 6:22) contradicts the theory according to which the victim was loaded with the sin of the person offering the sacrifice and thus itself became ‘sin’. On the contrary, it was a victim pleasing to God, and he, in consideration of this offering, took away the sin.25 This is also the reason that Isaac could not have been an acceptable sacrifice to God as he was not innocent and pure or spotless as the sacrifice was to be. Therefore, the typology that makes Isaac a type of Christ misunderstands the nature of the sacrifice. It is the ram caught in the thicket which is the appropriate Christ symbol, not Isaac.
25 De Vaux, Ancient Israel: Its life and institutions, 419.


Since there was no forgiveness of sins without the shedding of blood (Hebrews 9:22), sacrifices were deemed not only necessary but vital to the worship of Israel. They were a mark of the covenant which God had made with them at Sinai. The covenant included sprinkling the blood of the animal upon the people as a binding seal of their agreement with God (Exodus 24:8). Sacrifice, therefore, tied the people to the exodus event and the salvation history of the people of God. They were always to remember how God saved them from slavery and rescued them out of Egypt. This made sacrifice a part of the worship history of Israel and connected them to their ancestors as they remembered the past by reliving it in the present.


Music and Singing

Also important to worship was the hymnody of the sanctuary. Psalm 92 was the psalm of the day that was sung by the Levites as well as Numbers 28:9-10 during the sacrificial offering. In the morning, a part of the Song of Moses in Deuteronomy 32 was sung and in the evening Exodus 15. Edersheim suggests: Properly speaking, the real service of praise in the temple was only with the voice. This is often laid down as a principle by the Rabbis. What instrumental music there was served only to accompany and sustain the song. Accordingly, none other than Levites might act as choristers, while other distinguished Israelites were allowed to take part in the instrumental music.26 These songs retold the salvation history of Israel and warned them against rejecting God’s ways. They were taught to all the people, young and old, in order that they might become tied to the salvation history of their nation. The psalter became the hymn book for Israel and various songs were sung from it throughout the worship life of the people. At times new songs were added to

26 Edersheim, The Temple Its Ministry and Services, Updated Edition, 50.


the hymnody by the choirmaster or other some other dignitary. These may have been incorporated for some special occasion or as part of the weekly worship cycle. On ordinary days the priests would blow their trumpets seven times, each time three blasts. These trumpet calls signaled the opening of the doors to the temple and the beginning of worship, whether morning or evening or on the Sabbath. They also were performed when the drink offering was poured out and the psalm of the day was sung in three sections. After each section the trumpets were played and the people worshiped. The trumpet sounds were, according to tradition, intended to proclaim symbolically the kingdom of God, divine providence, and the final judgment. Along with trumpets, several other instruments were utilized in the worship assembly. Much of this was due to the pre-temple influence of King David who was a musician himself. David composed psalms to be sung and even invented musical instruments to supplement the singing (Amos 6:5; 1 Chronicles 23:5; Psalm 144:9). There are fifteen different instruments listed in the Bible for worship. Chief among them was the harp, the lute, the lyre, the trumpet, the cymbal and drum, the shophar or horn, and the flute. The harp was designated as the primary instrument for worship.27 They were to use as many as possible to accompany worship but never less than nine of them. The lute, too, (an instrument like a guitar) had a significant role and was to be used to accompany solos when needed. No less than two, and no more than six were to be used. The cymbal was not played to accompany music but rather signaled the beginning of a new part of the service. The flute was used for special festivities or occasions at the temple. It was the instrument played when the Psalm of Degree’s was sung on their way to celebrate a pilgrim feast as they journeyed up to the Temple. It was also played for happy occasions such as marriage feasts. Edersheim even suggests the possibility of a type of organ called the Magrephah as being
27 Edersheim, The Temple Its Ministry and Its Services, 52


present, though he was uncertain as to how it was used.28 The human voice was perhaps the most important instrument used in temple worship. Mostly, the singing was undertaken by the Levites, the people’s praise limited to an “Amen” following a song. On occasion they would sing an antiphon to a psalm at a special service such as the dedication of the Wall of Jerusalem, but the singing on the Sabbath was largely left to the professionals.

C. Meditation on the Word
God’s revealed Word has always been the chief ingredient of worship. People gathered to hear God speak to them His will, His gracious word of mercy and forgiveness, in short, they are gathered to receive His salvation. The temple service devoted several significant times for reflective meditation by the worshipper. Alfred Edersheim highlights this in his description of worship in the temple. … when the drink offering was poured out the Levites sung the psalm of the day in three sections. … After each section there was a pause when the priests blew three blasts, and the people worshipped.29 The worship of the people involved heartfelt reflection upon the psalmody which had been sung by the Levites, as well as any other readings from the Torah which had been read before the assembly and underscored the theme for worship that day. The Psalm appointed for the day followed the thematic content of the appropriate day of worship. For example, Psalm 24 was read on the first day of the week because its content reflected God’s first day of creation, the heavens and the earth. Peter L. Trudinger lists the themes for each day as he quotes from the Tamid: The songs that the Levites used to sing in the Temple: On the first day they sang
28 Edershiem, The Temple Its Ministry and Services, 53. 29 Edersheim, The Temple Its Ministry and Services, 50.


The earth belongs to the Lord and everything in it; the world and those who dwell in it. On the second day they sang Great is the Lord and very worthy of praise in the city of our God, his holy mountain. On the third day they sang God stands up in the divine assembly; in the midst of the divine beings he rules. On the fourth day they sang God of vengeance, O Lord, God of vengeance, appear in splendor! On the fifth day they sang Shout for joy to God our strength, cheer for the God of Jacob. On the sixth day they sang The Lord reigns! He is arrayed in majesty. On the Sabbath they sang a Psalm, A Song for the Sabbath. A psalm, a song for the time to come, for the day that is all Sabbath and rest in eternal life. 30 The Sabbath day utilized Psalm 92, as its subject matter concerned the necessity of worship itself. Here we see there is liturgical intent behind the practice of Israel’s worship and a careful system of themes develop which guide and direct the daily life of the people. Leen and Kathleen Rittmeyer note that, According to Tamid 7.4 Psalms 24, 48, 82, 94, 81, and 93 were sung in order on the week days, while Psalm 92 was sung on the Sabbath.31 This sacred Word, deemed spoken by God himself, would be the very thing God would use to draw his people near and to give them as his sacred covenant for them to live by. As such, the service was every bit a “Divine Service” noting its function to deliver God’s gifts of His word of grace and forgiveness, His Word of Salvation, and of the hope in the sustenance of His people Israel.

D. Prayer

30 Peter L Trudinger, The Psalms of the Tamid Service; A Liturgical text from the Second Temple (Leiden: Koninklisjke Brill No., 2004.) 17.

31 Rittmeyer, Leen and Kathleen, The Ritual of the Temple in the Time of Christ, Carta, Jerusalem: The Israel Map and Publishing Company, Ltd., 2002) 45 50

While sacrifice was the central act of worship, the very action of sacrifice was itself considered a prayer. The Bible notes in Amos 5:23 that hymns were sung and instrumentalists accompanied while sacrifices were being offered. The hymn-book or prayer-book of the temple was the Psalter. Many psalms have references as to when they are to be sung in the service. The Hebrew title for Psalm 92 says that it is a Psalm for the Sabbath. Other Psalms are designated for morning,( Psalm 5) or evening (Psalm 4) or Psalm 17 which is designated as a prayer of David. Some Psalms indicate that they were to be sung in the temple (Psalm 48:9). Other Psalms seem to have been sung during sacrifice (Psalm 20:3; 27:6). Jesus quoted Isaiah 56:7 as he chided the Pharisees when he proclaimed that the temple was to be a house of prayer. The Israelites normally prayed in the Temple courts facing the sanctuary (Psalm 5:7). At times they seemed to pray standing upright (1 Kings 8:22) and at times they knelt to pray (2 Chronicles 6:13). Nevertheless, prayer was always a significant part of their worship life and remained their most efficient way of speaking to their God in worship. Solomon gets to the heart of the matter in the dedication of the Temple: May your eyes be open toward this temple day and night, this place of which you said you would put your Name there. May you hear the prayer your servant prays toward this place. Hear the supplications of your servant and of your people Israel when they pray toward this place; and when you hear, forgive. … Now, my God, may your eyes be opened and your ears be attentive to the prayers offered in this place (2 Chronicles 6:20-21,40). The ordinary posture of prayer was meant to show submission to God. One suspects that the occasion warranting prayer stood as the guideline as to whether one stood or knelt. In the case of corporate sin, kneeling would have been the most appropriate, and in the case of national celebration, standing with arms raised toward heaven would have been the course. Roland De Vaux remarks: Perhaps, too, the Israelites changed their attitude during prayer, according to the


different intentions for which they were praying.32 What remains clear is that prayer formed a significant portion of the Temple worship of Israel and remained an integral part of worship carried over from the Tabernacle period.

E. The Synagogue
Having said the previous regarding worship life in the temple, a person would be remiss in not mentioning the development and practical use of the synagogue in the worship life of the people. As a worship center, the synagogue provided a coordinated liturgical approach to the daily worship life of the people. The use of synagogues appears to have begun with the return of the exiles in Babylon. They seem to have sprung up as an adjunct to worship in the Temple. Harold W. Turner suggests, … the synagogue does not appear as an independent institution, but arises in some form of relationship to the Jerusalem temple, usually as a supplement, but possibly as an alternative to its worship.33 The main activities of the synagogue included a gathering place for the local community to express whatever concerns they might have had and educational training for the young as a school. Also, a general instruction in the Law of God took place in a worship setting of ten or more adult Jewish males. Worship in the synagogue had a liturgy patterned after the Temple’s liturgy but without sacrifice. There were readings from the Law, prayers, songs chanted, and preaching upon the texts read during the worship. A benediction was said to conclude the service. For remote places a distance away from the temple, synagogue worship took the norm among the people. The New Testament has several instances of worship on the Sabbath in the
32 De Vaux, Roland. Ancient Israel: Its life and Institutions, 459. 33 Harold W. Turner, From Temple to Meeting House: the Phenomenology and Theology of Places of Worship (The Hague, The Netherlands: Mouton Publishers, 1979) 96.


local synagogue. Jesus does so in Nazareth, His home town, where Luke 4:16-27 makes note that this was his custom (verse 16) and the apostles followed Jesus’ example as noted in (Acts 13:15,27, 15:21). Nowhere is it suggested that Jesus in any way disapproved of this type of worship as opposed to worship in the temple or that his Apostles had been given any kind of warning against it. Turner suggests: This explains why the loss of the Temple in A.D. 70 was not the shattering blow that it might have seemed to be; while other religions usually succumbed to the loss of their cult and their sanctuaries, Judaism was equipped to survive as the religion of Law and synagogue. 34 Because the synagogue had become such an accepted venue for worship, early Christians patterned their worship styles and houses after that which they were familiar, (i.e., the synagogue). R.T. Beckwith notes, Since the breach between the Church and the synagogue took place around the end of the first century, the likelihood is that, where the resemblances between Jewish and Christian worship are striking, they are due to the influence that the former exerted upon the latter in the first century.35 The question should be asked as to how the transition took place from Temple to synagogue to house churches for worship for the Jewish Christians. The answer seems to have come from a new understanding of the presence of God. Jesus articulates this with the woman at the well (John 4:21, 23-24). “Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. … Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and His worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”

34 Turner, From Temple to Meeting House: the Phenomenology and Theology of Places of Worship, 99. 35 Beckwith, R.T., The Jewish Background to Christian Worship, The Study of Liturgy, Revised Edition, Eds. Cheslyn Jones, Geoffrey Wainwright, Edward Yarnold SJ and Paul Bradshaw.(New York: Oxford University Press,1992) 69.


The presence of God could be found where His people were gathered around His Word. The presence of the temple would no longer be the indication that God was with His people. God was greater than that. Jesus as God in the flesh was certain proof that God longed to dwell with man and that He would not be bound by structures. The heart of worship lay in its ability to bring man into fellowship with his God. The Holy of Holies had been that meeting place for the Jews since the establishment of the Tabernacle. Slowly, a new understanding began to take place in worship. Again Turner notes, The presence of God has been so completely detached from both places and buildings and so located in the faithful community gathered round the Law of God that one Midrash (upon Malachi 3:16) could say that when two men are sitting and studying the Law the presence is with them.36 Jesus asserts the same in Matthew 18:20. In Holy Communion He underscores the uniqueness of His presence by affirming for the Church that His body and His blood would be received by the faithful for their eternal blessing wherever their worship might take place. For the Christian, it is the incarnation more than any other doctrine that reflects God’s presence in and through the person of His Son Jesus Christ. Belief that God had come in the flesh paved the way for the faithful to see God differently. Turner writes, The foundations for a new type of place of worship had been laid, but the day for building was not yet. In these circumstances, the temple tradition was maintained against the time of its complete replacement. For most of the Jewish community this was forced on them by Rome, and the continuing nostalgia for the temple may be allowed to suggest that it would not have happened in any other way; for one part of this same community the replacement was more gradual and began before the temple was destroyed, but only because they believed that they had seen the ultimate meeting of the divine and human in a unique person.37 The synagogue, therefore, became the footprint for the future Christian worship. Its use of liturgy to carry the message of God’s love for His people joined it closely to the temple and
36 Turner, From Temple to Meeting House: the Phenomenology and Theology of Places of Worship, 100. 37 Turner, From Temple to Meeting House: the Phenomenology and Theology of Places of Worship, 104-105


the tabernacle on a kind of continuum of worship. As the temple disappeared, synagogue and the house church took its place in the lives of the faithful. A brief look at the liturgy of the synagogue will help to underscore the continuity of worship presented throughout the life of God’s people. Dr. Arthur Just, in his video series, Liturgy: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, carefully traces the order of the liturgical life of the synagogue. He shows the following order in a typical synagogue service: The Torah is read. A Psalm is sung A reading from the Prophets A Psalm is sung A reading from the historical writings A Psalm is sung Interpretation of the Word (Preaching) O.T. Creed The Sanctus (Ps. 118, Is. 6) Prayer Benediction38 From this order one can ascertain many similarities to the temple service. The use of the Psalms as the hymnody, various readings from the Law and prophets, the Sanctus, prayer, and a benediction all were utilized in a typical temple worship service. There are, however, three chief differences from temple worship. First, there was not a sacrificial element to synagogue worship. Second, lay involvement increased, both through the singing of the Psalms, which was done primarily by the Levites in the temple service, and reading of the Scriptures. Third, the practice of the exposition of the Word, (i.e., preaching) seemed to take the place of the sacrifice in importance for worship in the synagogue.

38 Arthur A. Just, Liturgy: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow, Session 6: Liturgy and the Word,(Dallas: Lutheran Visuals, color, videocassettes)


The close connection between the three modes of worship discussed thus far will be examined more thoroughly in the next section as it is linked to a historical/liturgical understanding of worship for the twenty first century Lutheran.

Chapter 6: Worship in the New Testament Lutheran Church
The following may be identified as shifts in worship emphasis from the Old to the New Testament. First, is the movement from sacrifice to sacrament as central to the worship of the believer. This shift was in part aided by the accepted practice of synagogue worship, where there was no sacrifice offered. The people had found a legitimate worship style, one practiced by Christ Himself that did not include sacrifice and therefore had an alternative to temple worship where sacrifice was central. Also with the destruction of the Temple in A.D. 70, there no longer remained a central place of worship to offer sacrifice therefore it fell into disuse. Most importantly, Jesus had come to fulfill the Ceremonial Law of which sacrifice was the chief ingredient. His suffering and death upon the sacrificial cross became the eternal sacrifice; the once for all time and all people sacrifice, to obtain the forgiveness of sins for all mankind. John the Baptist foreshadowed His role as the true sacrifice when he introduced Him with the words, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29) 56

What John was saying was that all sacrifice throughout the history of the Church, was useful only insofar as it pointed to the one true sacrifice, Jesus the Lamb of God, who was to take upon himself the sins of the world. It was the sacrificing of Himself upon a cross that would ultimately prove worthy to satisfy the Father’s wrath and righteous judgment upon sinful man. And, because he was the one true, worthy, sacrifice, no other sacrifice would be ever needed again. He, the sin-filled sacrifice, would take our place of punishment, and we would, in exchange, receive by faith His righteousness. It is important to note that Jesus had not come to replace the sacrificial component of worship with something else. Instead he came to fulfill the sacrificial component, to fill it with its ultimate meaning. That is why we must very clearly note that while the Lord’s Supper is not a sacrifice offered to the worshipping community, it is the very thing which connotes the fulfillment of all sacrifices of all time and therefore carries with it the meaning of all sacrifice. To suggest that the sacrificial highlight of the service has been removed is not altogether accurate. It has been fulfilled and given meaning. Jesus is not sacrificed each time His body and blood are offered to the believer in the Holy Meal, however, one cannot take the Holy Meal without considering his ultimate sacrifice: His sacrificial body and blood, shed upon the cross. This represents the ultimate goal of worship: the meeting of God with man. All this is made possible through the Holy Communion of the body and blood of Jesus Christ. God and man are made one again in perfect fellowship with one another. Therefore, for the Church, the Holy Meal takes the central place and becomes the high point of New Testament worship. The second shift in emphasis for worship from the Old Testament to the New is the emphasis upon the resurrection event as key to defining a worship time and central to understanding the worship experience. The resurrection of Jesus became, as one might expect, 57

the defining event in the life of the New Testament Church. The Sabbath rest had its fulfillment in the person and work of the Savior who had obtained true rest and peace in man’s relationship with God. Jesus was the New Sabbath and his resurrection marked the completion of His work in restoring creation. This change happens almost immediately as the disciples began to gather for worship on the new day. Danielou notes, The custom of gathering together on this day appears on the very week following the resurrection, when we find the Apostles gathered in the Cenacle. Sunday is the continuation of this weekly reunion. It is the commemoration of the resurrection of Christ, the sacrament of His presence in the midst of His Own, the prophecy of His second coming. In the beginning this constituted its unique significance: as being the weekly Easter.39 Jesus was the new tabernacle, the new temple and the new meeting place for God to dwell with man. The Gospel of John informs that Jesus “tabernacled” with us (John 1:14). Later in Matthew 12:6, Jesus claims that, “One greater than the Temple is here.” Harold W. Turner writes, It seems therefore that Jesus was promising the replacement of that type of meeting place between God and men by another point of meeting, intimately connected with himself but not evident until after the resurrection.40 The resurrection places the worship of God securely in a living Lord. God is able and willing to meet all our needs in the one who lives and reigns to all eternity, Jesus the Christ. He is the new temple. By Him and through Him God meets and serves us with His mercy and grace. The day of resurrection is the inauguration of the new age, an age of realization of the promises and covenants of God in their fullness. Turner, when speaking of this new understanding of the resurrected Jesus notes, He was the new temple, the positive replacement for all temples and cults on the Jerusalem pattern. His own body, whether interpreted individually or also corporately as the church, was the visible and historical reality that had become
39 Danielou, The Bible and the Liturgy (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1956) 242-243 40Turner, From Temple to Meeting House: the Phenomenology and Theology of Places of Worship p.113


the medium for transcending the material and revealing spiritual qualities through the material.41 This reflected a significant change for the people of God in worship. Sunday became the day they would gather for worship and fellowship around the Holy Meal. It replaced the Sabbath Day as the primary day of worship. Jesus would now be viewed always from the point of the resurrection. It is the resurrected Jesus that Christians now worship. Even the cross and all that it had come to mean is only thought of in light of the resurrection. Each worship day is seen as a “mini” Easter. All that Jesus had promised to His followers would be considered from the perspective of His triumph over death and the grave, as Jesus states to His disciples in John 14:19, “Because I live, you will live also.” The third shift in the emphasis of worship from the Old Testament to the New reflects a new understanding of the presence of God and how He comes to meet His people through the means of grace-- an incarnational presence. It is the means of grace, God’s Word and His Sacraments that shape the life of the New Testament Church. Jesus proclaims in Matthew 18:20, Where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them. Here Jesus explains that His Word would be the key to his continuing presence. With the understanding that wherever people gather to hear Jesus’ Word, there they will find Jesus, the Church is freed from geographical restrictions. She is free to go into the all the world for according to Jesus promise, He will remain in their midst. She is free to be the temple of Christ for she carries His Word and Sacraments with her. Her worship, therefore, is no longer confined to a structure, for God has become enfleshed in Jesus and wherever Jesus goes, God is present.
41Turner, From Temple to Meeting House: the Phenomenology and Theology of Places of Worship. p.114


Here we find the Holy Eucharist quite helpful in portraying the reality of the incarnation. Louis Bouyer writes, Against the Asian heretics already denounced by St. John, the Evangelist, St. Ignatius insists that the Eucharist is itself a permanent proclamation of the reality of the incarnation.42 Vilmos Vajta, in his work, Luther on Worship, shows Luther’s strong views on the connection between the incarnation and the true worship of God. By revealing himself in Christ, God himself instituted a definite form of worship. In the incarnation he humbled himself to meet us on the earthly level and clothed his gift to us in earthly forms. Thus there can be no fellowship between God and man except through the means of grace which belong to God’s revelation in Christ.43 Vajta further summarizes Luther’s position regarding the relationship between the Sacrament of the Altar and the incarnation. He notes, To Luther the real presence was a corollary of the incarnation. The incarnation was the real offense, and Christ’s presence in worship is no more than a consequence and extension of the revelation of the omnipresent God.44 It is in this understanding that directs the church’s worship. Worship, as an act, is inseparable from the God who reveals himself in Christ. The incarnation is therefore, the revelation of the true worship of God in the person of Jesus Christ His Son. Is it any wonder that the angels participate in this ultimate act of worship at the birth of the Incarnate One? Here heaven and earth, time and all of history come together and God and man unite in the incarnation. Luther suggests that the significance of the incarnation could be seen already in the early promises made by God in the Old Testament to Abraham. Here Luther refers to them (the promises) as a testament and says, Further, if God’s promises to Abraham could be called a testament (Gal. 3:18), they must imply the incarnation of Christ, for a testament looks forward to the
42 Louis Bouyer, Liturgical Piety (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1954) 217. 43 Vilmos Vajta, Luther on Worship: An Interpretation, (Philadelphia: Muhlenberg Press 1954) 15. 44 Vajta, Luther on Worship: An Interpretation, 97


death of the testator. The eternal God had to become man and die in order to fulfill the promise.45 The incarnation, therefore, brings to the church a contemporary Gospel. One which supersedes time and place and is found in the continuing revelation of Christ, the Word made flesh, His body, His blood, His Baptism, His Church. The Fourth shift from Old Testament worship to New Testament worship encompasses a total view of God's plan of salvation which includes the Old Testament witness as well as celebrates Jesus fulfillment of the salvation of mankind and culminates in the proclamation of His return. It relives the Old Testament, proclaims the fulfillment of man’s redemption in the life and death and resurrection of Christ, and carries the Church toward the future by proclaiming what is to come. It conveys an omniscient portrayal of time wherein God continues to act in and through His means of grace to convey the eternal in the midst of the temporal. In the Old Testament, worship looked ahead to the salvation of Israel by the Messiah who was to come. The Temple Period continued in that vein but with a sense of God’s immanent fulfillment of His covenant promise. With the arrival of Jesus, his death, resurrection and ascension, the Church's worship took on new meaning. She, the Church, had arrived in a new age with new knowledge and new reasons to give glory to God. Olof Herrlin describes the worship of the New Testament Church as encompassing a fuller understanding of time and God’s continual presence. He says, The Church really worships by reminding itself of all that God has done for his people in former days. But this is also done by expressing the conviction that God will do the same things for his people today. … The Lord of faith is neither gone nor going, nor is he one from whom we become helplessly removed as the march of history goes farther and farther on. Again and again we are told: he is coming! And so it is every time a worship service is held in which his word is proclaimed and in which his supper is celebrated, he comes!46
45 Vajta, Luther on Worship: An Interpretation, 41 46 Olof Herrlin, Divine Service: Liturgy in Perspective, (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1966) 9-10


While these four things represent a shift in the emphasis in worship they do not in essence represent a shift in the basic components or structure of worship with the exception of the loss of the practice of sacrifice. The centrality of the Word still holds true for both era's and the structure of the worship service stays remarkably similar despite the radically different situations and time periods facing the people of God. It is safe and even appropriate to say that not all that much has changed in the worship of God's people for over two thousand years. Or another way to put it would be that the distilled wisdom of the church has been passed on through its liturgy for over two thousand years to the worshiping community of believers. That liturgy contains within it a distinct and direct link to the liturgy of the Old Testament which links the worshiping communities of all of God's peoples throughout the ages. God's people connect to one another through the liturgy. We proclaim that quite plainly in our current liturgical tradition with the words, “Now together with angels and archangels and all of the company of heaven.”47 We acknowledge without hesitancy or apology that when we worship, we do so in conjunction with all the company of heaven both the saints who have gone before us and the heavenly host who constantly dwell with our God. The Church’s witness is a unified whole which encompasses the faith of believers from Adam until the present. God is a God who does not change; therefore, it is reasonable to expect that the worship of an unchanging God contain many elements that have not changed over the centuries of worship. His attributes cannot change because of His nature, so the praise and worship of those attributes is often found to be quite similar from generation to generation. In fact, it is often through the changing of the elements of worship that heresy, false doctrine, and heterodoxy have resulted. It is the author's belief that one of the marked strengths of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod has been its devotion to its historical liturgy. Even Luther, citing several
47 Lutheran Service Book, Prepared by The Commission on Worship of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, Divine Service, Setting Three, Proper Preface (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2006)194


examples of worship abuse, holds largely to the historic liturgy while at the same time reforming the abuse of the mass. In his reforming of the mass, Luther restores the mass to a more historic understanding of the traditional liturgy. He notes that the modern day church had misunderstood the liturgical tradition practiced in the ancient church. So in essence, his reforming of the mass was actually a restoring of the mass to its historical understanding and teaching. Here we note VilmosVajta on Luther's intent: A similar degeneration of the service is bound to occur where ever liturgical reforms are undertaken with the idea of enriching the service or making it more festive and dignified without reference to the saving acts of Christ which constitute Christian worship. If Luther condemned the Canon prayers which at least had sprung from liturgical soil, how much more critical would he be of the synthetic solemnities concocted in the aesthetic and psychological test tubes of modern liturgical reformers. 48 Luther was not against liturgical reform as such, but any reform which would obscure the view of the gospel or denigrate the work of Christ was met with disdain by Luther because such reform, would represent a divergent view from the unified witness of the church.

Chapter 7 The Worship of Lutherans
There are several ways that the New Testament Lutheran Church has sought to faithfully proclaim and maintain this intimate historical connection to the whole witness of the Church. First, there is the centrality of the word of God as the means by which Lutherans are faithfully
48 Vajta, Luther on Worship, 32,33


connected to all believers throughout church history. God comes to them by his word and by his word they are made his disciples redeemed, restored, forgiven and incorporated into his church. This church is not bound by time, proximity, or any other such boundary. It is bound by Christ alone, His word, his power, his Spirit, his promise. As such those who worship as the church, experience a uniqueness known only by faith as they are lifted above the boundaries of time and distance and place and united together as one voice in the praise and glory of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, they’re Savior. Massey H Shepherd, in his book, The Worship of the Church, notes this unique understanding of the concept of time and the Christian believer’s life. Thus in the Christian Festival a past event is commemorated and the future consummation is anticipated. But the feast is neither mere remembrance nor unfulfilled hope. It is a present reality in the hearts of faithful believers.49 The word history is often linked with the word tradition. The word tradition has both good and bad connotation in the connection to the Lutheran Church. The Gospel tradition or one might call it the biblical tradition, has its creeds and confessions, but is rooted in the canonical record of the apostles and prophets preserved for us from generation to generation in order that we might remain faithful to the witness of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as we continue in that confession. This defines the word tradition in its best sense. Lutherans have always shown a high regard for the use of the word tradition in this way. Most Lutherans have come to know Jesus Christ through the witness of the Word of the Bible which has been handed down to them through the ages by their Christian parents and teachers. The message of God's love and forgiveness was handed down to us and we in turn share it with others. It is our tradition. The Christian community by the power of the Holy Spirit has thrived on the basis of the integrity of

49 Massey H. Shepherd, Jr., The Worship of the Church, (New York : The Seabury Press, 1952) 106.


the tradition of God's word. Where the word has been respected and honored there the Holy Spirit has been active in creating faith. However, tradition among Lutherans has been seen in a negative light also. When tradition is spelled with a capital T and infers rules and regulations that do not have their basis in Holy Scripture, Lutherans have historically spoken out against this kind of tradition. Timothy H. Maschke writes, In 1522 Luther spoke of two opposing church traditions-- the apostolic tradition of the Gospel message of celebration through Christ alone and the papal traditions that claim divine institution but emphasized human merit. Luther maintained this distinction throughout his life.50 The key for Luther and for the Lutheran Church is the centrality of the Gospel in relation to the tradition that is being held. In other words, a tradition is only valid and useful and godly if that tradition bares the Gospel on its wings to the hearts of the people who practice it. Insofar as it does, the tradition is deemed useful by Luther and encouraged within the practice of the church. Insofar as it doesn't, then that tradition is deemed to be harmful to God's people and should not be tolerated in the church. This guideline serves as the primary test for The Lutheran Church- Missouri Synod regarding its worship practices. The historic proclamation of the Gospel cannot change without having detrimental effect on the worship life and faith of the people of God. Therefore, the Lutheran Church has sought to remain in continuity with the historic Christian church through its use of a traditional liturgy. This serves two purposes. First, it holds us in close proximity to our forefathers in the faith who confessed the same word. Second, it ensures us that we are continuing on the right path, as we say the same things about God in much the same way assuring that we have not lost the truth.

50 Timothy H. Maschke, Gathered Guests: A Guide to Worship in the Lutheran Church, (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2003) 36.


The liturgy is the unanimous prayer of the body of Christ past and present and reflects the uniform witness of the Gospel at work in the lives of the people of God. Having uniform liturgies that reflect the historic tradition of our church has been the consistent practice of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod and has guided our Lutheran Church and its doctrine throughout its history. It also serves to tie all Lutherans together in their uniform witness of the Gospel. We claim in the Lutheran Church, to have a liturgical tradition, based on the history of our forefathers, which serves to promote doctoral agreement for all our churches both now and in the ages to come. To walk away from our liturgy is to walk away from our doctrinal unity. This is not to say that the church cannot in its wisdom create new liturgies. It is however to say, that in the creation of new liturgies they must say the same things in the same ways or the church's witness is no longer unified. In his book, Dynamics of Worship: foundations and uses of liturgy, Richard Paquier writes, liturgy is a service of all for the one, the Lord. It is the unanimous prayer of the community, the organized cultic action of the church. Church and liturgy are, therefore, integral and interdependent.51 Paquier’s point is well taken. Worship in the church centers around a common understanding of the gospel. The liturgy, then, guides the church through a common understanding of the gospel, and leads her to a common confession. This is why changing the liturgy can be such a dangerous event for the church. Herrlin writes: The prerequisites for making alterations in and additions to the accepted liturgy are of various kinds. They must be sought for in well tested practices which are now in use, and which successfully expressed living Christian piety. Fussy experimentation has no place here. These practices must actually enrich the liturgy as liturgy, conveying new and meaningful values. And finally, they must ring true in relation to the confessions, since the liturgy itself is, in its own way, a
51 Richard Paquier, Dynamics of Worship; Foundations And Uses of Liturgy, (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1967) 49.


confession. Every worship tradition, as G. Tornvall says correctly, is an expression of the faith of the church which the traditions serve. It is here that the evangelical churches confront their decisive problem in relation to the liturgy. The development of our worship life, and work upon its renewal and enrichment, must be in concert with the spirit and meaning of the confessional writings…. Liturgical forms cannot be permitted to conceal the worship service’s criterion of truth. All of the beauty and artistry, the exalted symbolism and valuable training of which the liturgy is capable, shall come from within that central truth which of old and through the struggle of faith of many generations became the vital point in the worship life of the church.52 Since the liturgy is so closely connected to the proclamation of the gospel, it closely follows that the goal the liturgy is to proclaim the truth. There is no unity for the church apart from that which is based upon the Scriptures. Because the centrality of the Scriptures play such an integral part in the worship life of the Lutheran church, the liturgy then, must agree with the Scriptures and use the very words of the Scriptures often. Again Herrlin writes: It is proper, therefore, to set forth both the formal and the material principles of the Reformation as the fundamental truth of the liturgy. The entire content of the liturgy shall agree with the Scriptures. … it is from the means of grace that worship, prayer, and adoration derive their real substance.53 Liturgy shapes the culture, not the other way around. Therefore, a liturgy that leads one to the heavenly gifts of the means of grace will of necessity be a life-changing event for the Christian believer. Arthur A. Just states, But unless there is an awareness of the presence of Jesus Christ in that worship and a belief that an encounter with that presence will radically change a person into one of God's very own, then worship is not everything it can, should, and must be.54 The movement of worship in the Christian church is seen in one of two ways. First, many see worship as the means by which man reaches up with his praise, thanksgiving, love, and
52 Herrlin, Divine Service: Liturgy in Perspective, 71. 53 Herrlin, Divine Service: Liturgy in Perspective, 72. 54 Arthur A. Just, Liturgical Renewal in the Parish, Lutheran Worship History and Practice (St Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1993) 27.


devotion to a God who is anxiously waiting to hear from him. In this view of worship man is seen as the actor, and God is seen as the audience. Therefore, the things that man does in his worship are in effect seen as tools to edify God. Great emphasis is placed upon the praise aspect of worship and much effort is expended upon man's performance. With this point of view a person would legitimately depart from worship asking the question, “How did I do?” For this tradition, the value of worship is directly connected to the effort put forth by the worshiper. In the Lutheran Church worship is viewed differently. For Lutherans, worship is not as much about our service to God as it is about his service to us. That is why we characterize the service, the divine service. In the introduction to Lutheran Worship, a hymnal utilized in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, worship is described this way: Our Lord speaks and we listen. His word bestows what it says. Faith that is born from what is heard acknowledges the gifts received with eager thankfulness and praise. Music is drawn into this thankfulness and praise, enlarging and elevating the adoration of our gracious giver God. Saying back to him what he is said to us, we repeat what is most through insurer.... The rhythm of our worship is from him to us, and then from us back to him.55 For Lutherans, the liturgy as well as the rest of worship surrounds the participant with the presence and gracious gifts of God. God is the host. God is the actor. God speaks and we listen. The worship God desires is a worship which centers upon his gifts. Therefore, Lutherans place great emphasis upon the means of grace, Word and Sacrament, as the tools God utilizes to breach the chasm created by our sin. Our liturgy, therefore, moves us into God's presence and while we are there, God surrounds us with his grace and bestows his gifts upon us to equip us and sustain us. We, then, respond with praise and thanksgiving for the gifts that God has given us. The Lutheran worshiper will not come out of church asking the question, “How did I do?” That question is irrelevant. The statement for the Lutheran is not to question how he did but
55 Norman Nagel, “Introduction,” Lutheran Worship, (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1982) 6.


rather to declare with thanksgiving what God has done for him, in him, and to him. This has been and continues to be the attitude of the church for many centuries. From the Old Testament, to the days of the Temple, to the beginning of the Apostolic Church, the worship of God's people has always been centered in what God is doing. There is a certain comfort one may derive from being closely connected to the historic worship of God's people. Arthur A Just writes, Liturgy helps us reinforce for one another our present position on the continuum where we have the same status in the kingdom of God as both the prophets of old and the Saints in glory.56 Lutheran liturgy seeks, on the one hand, to be faithful to the historic witness of the church throughout the ages, to unite God's people of all time and all places together as one voice. This is done in a typical Lutheran worship service as we borrow from the old Jewish liturgy the Old Testament lessons and the benediction. In the liturgical call to confession the words, “let us draw near with a true heart” are taken from the ritual of Old Testament sacrifice, when the one who brought a sacrifice to the Temple had to draw near at the direction of the priest. It is also done as we confess one of the three ecumenical creeds, which come to us from the earliest centuries. Our liturgy includes portions of the historic witness of the Eastern Orthodox Church such as, the Gloria, the Prayer of the Church, and the Sanctus. Historic portions of the Western liturgy produced the Introits, the collects, and the proper prefaces. Later, Martin Luther incorporates the sermon as an important segment of the service. On the other hand, the liturgy seeks to present a contemporary Christ who joins himself to the believer of the current age equipping him for life in the world in which he lives. The Lutheran hymnal is one place where all of this comes together. Our hymns are a mixture of ancient and contemporary. From the “Kyrie,” one of the most ancient hymns of the church, to “Thy Strong Word” by Martin Franzmann composed in the 20th century, one can readily
56Roger D. Pittelko, “Corporate Worship of the Church: Worship and the Community of Faith”, Lutheran Worship History and Practice. Ed. Fred L. Precht, (St. Louis: Concordia 1993) 28.


recognize that the Lutheran liturgical tradition accepts and respects the wisdom of its forbearers as well as addressing the needs of the contemporary Christian. Have the needs of the contemporary Christian have changed from the needs of his forefather. Because the forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation are the primary gifts God gives to his children who worship, no matter the time or age the gifts are always relevant. There may be different circumstances, but the needs remain primarily the same from generation to generation. That's not to say that there may not be new circumstances that the gifts of Christ address, but is rather to note that the gifts of Christ are always relevant and, therefore, Lutheran liturgical worship which centers upon these gifts is always relevant. Although two dimensions of Lutheran worship have already been discussed, there is also a future dimension of worship of which one must also take account. Liturgical worship not only ties us to the past and equips us for the present, but it also moves us toward a future certainty. Worship in the Lutheran Church lifts us out of time and space and places us in the midst of our eternal reality, communion with God himself. We unequivically declare it in our liturgy, when we acknowledge our praise to include “Angels and archangels and all the company of heaven.”57 Lutheran liturgical worship lifts us out of the world and into the throne room of the Almighty God where we meet the whole host of heaven in unified voice and praise. Thus the Lutheran worshiper stands juxtaposition between those who have gone before him in the faith, those who are present with him in the assembly, and those who always stand before the Almighty God and his Son Jesus Christ, (i.e., the heavenly hosts).

57 Lutheran Service Book, Prepared by The Commission on Worship of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, Divine Service, Setting Three, Proper Preface (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2006)194


This final group is those who, because they stand in the realm of eternity, know not the limits of time but instead worship in a sure and certain hope which has its antecedent in the ongoing eternal presence of God. We are joined to them in our worship, and their existence expresses the eternal reality of our hope, as they possess fully what we possess only in part until the last day. In worship we are lifted from time and delivered before the throne of heaven surrounded by these many witnesses proclaiming with one voice: Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come (Revelation 4:8). Worship is eschatological as Herrlin writes, Finally, the liturgy is ecumenical to the same degree that it is eschatological. Every worship service held in this world should provide a vision of the heavenly worship, and derive inspiration from the Christian hope of eternal life.58 One of the aspects of worship often overlooked today is that it is preparatory for what is to come. There is a sense in which we are practicing here on earth for the worship that is to come when we have joined our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in all eternity. The Bible gives us several pictures of this “heavenly worship,” thereby preparing us for what is to come in the life of the believer. We worship on earth in preparation for how we will worship in Heaven. In other words what we do here is of eternal significance. Our liturgy in the Lutheran Church borrows from the glimpses of heavenly worship we are afforded in the Bible. It is appropriate therefore to say, that each week as we gather together to worship, we are linked to the eternal through the Bibles witness of worship in the heavenly realms. Our liturgy speaks that which has been revealed to us as the holy authors glimpsed the heavenly liturgy. In this sense the liturgy is eternal. It moves the worshiper beyond the temporal. We not only come out of the world to worship but we come out of time itself. Even our hymns

58 Herrlin, Divine Service: Liturgy In Perspective, 74.


reflect the eternal dimension of our worship. Consider Isaac Watts hymn, based upon Romans 8:18, O God our help in ages past, our hope for years to come, our shelter from the stormy blast, and our eternal home. 59 Past, present and future all come together in the beautiful verse of this hymn. The Lutheran worship's in anticipation of the hope which shall be revealed to him. The liturgy, carries the Lutheran worshiper along upon the continuum of faith which leads to an eternal reality of life with God in heaven. Many have made the journey. Many will continue to make the journey and in worship we are all linked to one another. This is the liturgical process we undergo as we worship together as a church. God does not change. Because he is God, He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). We often speak of the timeless truths of the Bible. In doing so we are emphasizing the unchanging truths of God's word and his proclamation of them to us. Our liturgical tradition ties itself closely to these unchanging truths. Therefore much of the Lutheran liturgy is derived from Holy Scripture, and reflects its timelessness. What was relevant for the Apostles, is equally relevant to Missouri Synod Lutherans today. God's Word does not change and neither do His promises. We link ourselves to the Old Testament people of God and to the Apostles, and Evangelists through our liturgical worship. Much of what we say they have said. Much of what we do they have done and it is all done in Christ. All this is done to the glory and honor of the one changeless God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In this sense worship is timeless. We worship the same God. We say the same things

59 Lutheran Service Book 733


about him in much the same way which makes our worship universal, and our doctrine changeless. Lutheran theologian William Streng, makes note of this in the following, For the liturgy is timeless, uniting us to the church of all ages. In a world racing toward catastrophe we need this sense of history and fellowship with the entire communion of saints. In fact, in the early church before the New Testament had ever been written, the liturgy served as the permanent means of instruction. It was about the only education Christians received once their convert instructions were finished. For this reason liturgy has been described as “prayed doctrine.”60 The continuity and uniformity of our worship encourages a oneness in doctrine. When new worship forms are introduced to a worshiping community, the danger to doctrinal integrity increases significantly. Timothy Maschke, in his book: Gathered Guests; A Guide to Worship in the Lutheran Church, states, “God's gathered guests need a biblical foundation and a Gospel focus for their worship life, including any variations.”61 Maschke again warns, “Worship planners need to understand that worship affects doctrine and doctrine should be evident in worship.”62 Lutheran liturgical worship professes a doctrinal presentation of the truths of Scripture. It demonstrates a continuity of worship with the whole Christian Church on earth both past and present, while at the same time revealing a path for the future. To be linked to the whole Christian Church of Jesus Christ gives one confidence and encouragement. What was once done to honor God is still being done today and one day will be continued standing in His visible presence. Like the coach who tells his basketball team we are practicing so hard so that we are fully prepared for the big game at the end of the season, in worship we too may be seen as practicing for the day when we join all of creation standing before the holy Trinity and worshiping God in spirit and truth.
60 William, D. Streng, Toward Meaning in Worship; An Introduction to Lutheran Liturgy, (Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1964) 11. 61 Maschke, Gathered Guests: A Guide to Worship in the Lutheran Church, 452. 62 Maschke, Gathered Guests: A Guide to Worship in the Lutheran Church, 452.


Olof Herrlen states, Every worship service held in this world should provide a vision of the heavenly worship, and derive inspiration from the Christian hope of eternal life.63 Having stated the above, one would be remiss to suggest that this fully encompasses the nature of worship. Worship does include what God’s people do, it is nonetheless more significantly, what God does for his people. Dr. Art Just rightly notes, Lutherans, like the early Christians, believe that Christ is bodily present through Word and Sacrament, offering his people the guess of heaven. The liturgy is, first and foremost, the activity of God who is serving us with his gifts. But it is also the Christian assembly whose right and privilege it is to stand in God's presence and received his gifts for the sake of the world. Christians are agents of God in the world, where no one else in the world could do this service! And as Christians respond to the Word and sacraments, they respond in Christ, that is, their songs of praise, their prayers, and the confession of faith are not their own, but are from the Christ who is in them, responding back to the Father through him. And so both the gifts given and gifts responded to are in Christ.64 When Lutherans speak of worship, they speak properly, and primarily, of what God has done for them, to them, and in them as they meet with their God. A Lutheran primarily thinks of his worship as what he does following this sacred meeting he had with God. In other words, he lives and properly worships in his daily life as he serves and glorifies God in all he says and does. The divine service is more properly about God's work, God's doing, God's mercy, grace and forgiveness, life and salvation as He calls man to gather in His temple to give him His gifts, the highest of which is the body and blood of His Son, Jesus Christ. For a beautiful illustration of this truth one need only turn to verse one of the Lutheran hymn 643, Sent Forth by God's Blessing. Sent forth by God's blessing, Our true faith confessing, The people of God from His dwelling take leave. The supper is ended, O now be extended The fruits of this service in all who believe.
63 Herrlin, Divine Service: Liturgy in Perspective, 74 64 Arthur A. Just Jr. Heaven on Earth: The Gifts of Christ in the Divine Service, (St. Louis:Concordia Publishing House, 2008) 23.


The seed of His teaching, receptive souls reaching, Shall blossom in action for God and for all. His grace did invite us, his love shall unite us To work for God's kingdom and answer His call.65 Lutherans receive these gifts and then worship God in their daily living by utilizing them as the enabling means by which they love God and serve their neighbor. We go forth to make known the joys and blessings which have been made known to us in the liturgy of the Divine Service. This is our service, our worship to God. So then if the Divine Service is God’s service and through it God gives us the words to worship Him and provides all the blessings which He has promised, why are some seeking other forms for their worship?

Chapter 8 A Word About “Contemporary” Worship
65 Lutheran Service Book, 643


A discussion about worship would be remiss without some reference to Christianity's attraction toward what many would call “contemporary worship”. One of the reasons for this project is the authors’ congregation’s interest in a more modern style of worship. The discussion was created over the concern for the youth of the congregation and the various forms of contemporary worship they were being exposed to. Because attendance of our high school age youth had significantly declined, many in the congregation felt that it would be important to provide this style of worship in order to keep the interest of our young people in our church. The reasoning was justified in their own thinking because, this was the type of worship that their parent church body, the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, was modeling for them at their youth gatherings. Additionally, many of our Lutheran Church Missouri Synod sister churches were already practicing a form of contemporary worship which seem highly attractive to the youth of our congregation. It was postulated that if we did not provide this form as well, we would lose many of our youth. In some instances, this turned out to be true. Quite frankly, the author never dreamed he would face such a challenge in his church and was found quite unprepared to form a theological response to those legitimately concerned about the migration of our young people to other churches providing contemporary styles of worship. The earnest desire of the author to answer these questions led to the study for this project. What is contemporary worship? For most in the author's parish, this question could be answered with the following: contemporary worship is, 1. Worship that is in a less formal setting. The people who desire this style of worship are seeking a more friendly atmosphere, less formal, more relational. 2. Music that is set to a more contemporary tune. The youth seem to desire music closer to the style of music that they listen to every day.


3. Modern instruments that convey worship in a more contemporary style. This generally involves a guitar, drums, a keyboard and various other band instruments which people identify as associating with their contemporary music preferences. 4. Visual stimulation. This might include a screen with various pictures to enhance the theme of worship. One cannot argue that the fastest-growing churches, the ones who are increasing in number most dramatically in the Baltimore region are the ones using these styles of worship. Many in the congregation saw this too as a significant reason to begin emulating a contemporary style for worship at St. Paul's. Many others in the congregation began to ask the question: “Is there something theologically wrong with this style of worship?” Others were found saying, “It's not Lutheran, therefore, we should not be doing it.” As a consequence, it became necessary to formulate a careful response to these questions recognizing the division forming in the congregation. Any answer presented needed to be thoroughly biblical, openly confessional, and take into account the concerns of the various groups within the congregation. In an effort to address many of the issues surrounding contemporary styles of worship it is important to start with foundations of the argument. First, some were suggesting that historical liturgical worship was not relevant for them. The style was not moving, and it did not engage them. They were left unstirred and bored with the same words, style, and music utilized over and over again. They didn't come out of worship feeling any different than when they went in. They had developed an expectation generated from hearing and participating in contemporary worship that they were not finding fulfilled in their own historical liturgical worship. They seem to say that their emotions were more engaged and they felt better worshiping in this new style. The problem with this type of argument comes from a misunderstanding of the nature of worship. The Lutheran Confessions state:


The service and worship of the Gospel is to receive good things from God. . . . The highest worship in the Gospel is the desire to receive the forgiveness of sins, grace, and righteousness66 And again, God wants to be honored by faith so that we receive from Him those things he promises and offers.67 Worship, the divine service, is about coming to God's house to receive God's gifts. If the order of worship is centered around the conveyance of these gifts, and a person doesn't feel good having received the gifts of God which are at the heart and soul of worship, this doesn’t negate the gifts of God. They are no less real or present because a person does not feel them. The problem is not the order of service in this case but rather the heart of the worshiper. The question should not be what do I need to change about the service but rather what do I need to change about me? Many people are often caught up with their emotions being the gauge to determine the success of their worship. This concept negates the objective nature of the word of God and the relevancy of the sacraments. It makes only those things relevant which are felt and renders God's Divine Word impotent apart from an emotional attachment to it. Klemet Preus warns in his The Fire and the Staff, “. . . reliance on feelings or experience is always a rather dangerous thing both for the unity of the church and for a person’s faith.”68This is not to say that emotions are bad or not a part of worship but it is to say that properly speaking, spiritual enrichment is formed through the reception of God's gifts of the means of grace rather than the activity of man. And God's gifts are of value because they come from God not because we cherish them.

66 Tappert, The Book of Concord, Ap. IV, 301 (Tappert, 155) 67 Kolb- Wangert, The Book of Concord, Ap. IV, 49 (K-W, 49) 68 Klemet Preus, The Fire and the Staff: Lutheran Theology in Practice, (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2004) 250.


Second, the desire of some to make worship more informal and more relational seems to steer a new course towards the worshipers setting the terms upon which he wishes to meet God rather than responding to the call of God to meet him in the midst of his Word and Sacrament. The question seems to arise, should we “dumb down” worship, make it more simplistic, in order to make it easier and more comfortable in our attempts to approach God or is worship more about how God approaches man? Richard C. Eyer suggests, For some time now, Christians have followed the world's example of selfindulgence, reinventing worship to make it what we wanted to be. Ours is a time in history in which we are obsessed with self. We value self-determination, selffulfillment, and self gratification more than the self-sacrifice of Christ for us and for our salvation. Worship increasingly has become a public relations experience, selling itself as satisfying our desire for friendships in this anxious world, rather than the need for fellowship with God.69 Should there be room for growth in worship? Many have suggested that it is time for the church to be more innovative, exploring new forms and creating multitudes of ways for man to reach out and have a truly meaningful relationship with God in his worship. Otherwise, worship can grow stale and no longer be meaningful or productive for the worshiper. Eyer again responds to this kind of thinking: From the beginning of time, God has chosen to reveal himself to humankind on His terms, not on ours. This is because we must know Him as objectively real and not merely as a virtual reality created in the image of our own likes and dislikes. It is not our prerogative to attempt to create new techniques for God to make Himself known to us. Nor should we mistake our loss of delight in the Divine Service as the fault of the Divine Service. Ours is to respond in faithfulness to where God tells us He is to be found.70 Third, the issue of contemporary melodies for music used in worship has merit. From a biblical stand point, King David wrote many new melodies for new songs utilized in the psalter, the Old Testament hymnbook for the people of God. The church today, too, has many
69 Richard C. Eyer, They Will See His Face, (St. Louis : Concordia Publishing House, 2002) 41. 70 Eyer, They Will See His Face, 42.


contemporary musicians who have contributed to its hymnody. It should be noted however, that new hymns are added to the whole sum of the hymnody of the church and are sung in conjunction with the many timeless hymns which have served the church for centuries. By eliminating the ancient hymnody of the church and replacing it with only contemporary hymns or songs, much of the universal witness of the church is lost. There is something to be said for the comfort of having learned a hymn in childhood, and singing it till the day you die. The timeless truths of the faith confessed in a churches’ hymnody, are the very truths which lead one to eternal life. There is also a sense in which when one comes into the house of God to worship and is greeted in music with melodies that are not common to the world’s contemporary scene, a message is sent that what is happening there in worship is different than what is in the world. This sense of timelessness is much more difficult to convey when the world's contemporary music is copied for use in worship. Many of the hymns in our hymnals have stood the test of time and remained in the worship of the church for centuries. They have in essence proven themselves to be of great value in conveying the faith. This is not to say that new hymns written with new melodies should have no place in the worship of God's people. In fact, much the opposite is true. The Holy Spirit is inspiring new people all the time to bring the contemporary witness of the Gospel to God's people through song and melody. Much is to be gained and treasured as God grants his gifts to these talented people. However, at the same time much can be lost as well. Much of what passes for “contemporary music” is nothing more than Pentecostalism. The words lead one to be “filled with the Spirit,” or having the Spirit fall upon us in some special manner. This leads to an experiential theology which seeks to validate God’s presence by a “feeling of the Holy Spirits 80

presence in some special way.” We are to forget an objective means by which God promises to reveal himself. It’s simply not enough according to these songs. According to Klemet Preus, if you listen to contemporary music today the lyrics will tend to be Pentecostal. Today, if you listen to this type of music, pay attention to the lyrics. You will find that they tend to be Pentecostal. They make us think that (1) Christ is mere, (2) that experience transcends faith, (3) That God’s grace is uncertain or unpredictable, (4) that there are different levels of Christianity.71 Fourth, largely due to the popularity of contemporary Christian artists, there is a desire to hear music played with contemporary instruments. Usually this includes a guitar, keyboard, drums, perhaps even a saxophone, or various other instruments. Because these instruments reflect more closely what the worshiper hears in their daily life, it is believed that the use of these instruments will be more effective in communicating the Gospel to contemporary people. The author believes the proverbial jury is out on these kinds of claims. First, they've not been tested over a long period of time. Second, while they remain “contemporary” in the definition of the worshiper today, it is quite plausible to envision a time when they will longer be viewed as the mainstream for music of the future. Further, while the author finds nothing from the Scriptures to prohibit the use of these instruments in worship, the question remains: “Will the use of these type instruments point primarily to God and His gifts or man and his giving?” It may be readily observed that many contemporary songs do not offer the same deep theological content and meditation that the sacred hymns have provided the church throughout the centuries. Many are simplistic and do not offer an opportunity for theological growth. And because most are not written with a Lutheran understanding of the Scriptures, there is an increased risk of poor or false theology being passed on to the worshiping assembly that uses them. That is not to say that all contemporary songs are unusable for worship. Many are nearly
71 Preus, The Fire and the Staff Lutheran Theology in Practice, 224.


word for word quotations from the Bible. The church which closes itself off to anything contemporary will miss out on the remarkable work the Holy Spirit is doing through the musicians of this century. Instead it means that for Lutherans, we must carefully study and review anything which has not been theologically reviewed through a Lutheran filter. We owe it to our church families to feed them with only the purest spiritual food. To that end, the author applauds the work of the Commission on Worship for their review of a number of contemporary songs. These aid the pastor in preparing for his people contemporary songs for worship which carry a message clearly deduced from God’s Holy Word. Sadly, for many who practice contemporary worship, the Lutheran hymnal and hymnody is largely ignored. This kind of behavior not only ignores the treasure trove of music and liturgy preserved by the church for centuries, it also becomes divisive between sister churches who use approved hymnals and those who have deserted them. For the author, it is difficult in a contemporary worship setting to differentiate himself from a concert setting. The tendency in this type of setting, is to shift the focus to the worshipers acts and the performance of the actors rather than the acts of God. This is not an absolute but deemed a worthwhile caution in approaching this style of worship. In his book, The Fire and the Staff, Klemet Preus states, Most people, when they think of the word worship, think of something that we do. By this way of thinking, we are active in giving God our honor and praise and God is passive in receiving our worship. Actually, the primary direction of the communication in worship is the other way. In true Christian worship we are passive and God is active. We are receiving and God is giving. We are learning and God is teaching. We are getting and God is giving.72 Finally, the argument is made that our society has become a visually driven society. Visual aids in worship such as projection screens with pictures illustrating the theme in worship
72 Preus, The Fire and the Staff Lutheran Theology in Practice, 138.


are seen as vital enhancements to meeting the needs of the contemporary worshiper. It is true that society is visually driven today. Big-screen televisions, and high-definition signboards abound everywhere we go. Even athletic contests, must supplement play on the field with play on the Jumbotron. The argument may be made that if we are to hold the attention of worshipers, visual stimulation is of paramount importance. It's not enough to see the altar or font in front of the church, we must also see a picture of Jesus holding a lamb on Good Shepherd Sunday. Marva Dawn notes, in her book Reaching Out Without Dumbing Down: To attract people from our culture, some Christian churches depend upon glitz and spectacle and technological toys, rather than on the strong substantive declaration of the Word of God and its authoritative revelation for our lives.73 What's to be made of these types of claims? Are the altar, font, and pulpit passé for today's worshiper? Are they no longer useful as symbols for the people of God today? How far we willing to go to change our worship to make it more acceptable in the eyes of contemporary society? Can any of these ideas be used and still retain the integrity of our worship? How much should society influence our worship and how much should our worship influence the way we live today? According to Marva Dawn, Some churches scramble to find better worship "methods” to increase their membership or stewardship or educational effectiveness. We must constantly remember as we seek to be God’s Church that most of all God wants holy people. As the great man of prayer E. M. Bounds says, “People are God’s method. The church is looking for better methods; God is looking for better people.”74

73 Marva J. Dawn, Reaching Out Without Dumbing Down, (Grand Rapids :Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. 1995) 50. 74 Dawn, Reaching Out Without Dumbing Down, 106


The quandary that we may find ourselves in over contemporary worship has much to do with what we believe happens when we worship. The author believes that many questions asked regarding contemporary worship styles could be more readily answered if worship would be put in the context of the Divine Service. That is, that worship is primarily about God serving us, not us serving God. The Altar, Font and Pulpit emphasize Gods gifts to us and as such remain integral to worship which honors Him. The visual import of these symbols must not be underestimated. When people come to Gods house to worship Him they expect to meet Him at these places. To cover these places up, for example, by a drop-down screen for visual enhancement misses the point. It sends a mixed message. It intimates that what is seen on the screen is more important, because of its visual preference, than what is behind the screen. They are in effect saying: God used to meet you over there at the altar but now he is able to meet you more effectively on this screen. The push of the entertainment industry’s effect upon our culture is having significant impact upon worship style and content. Many now see worship as something which needs to be designed to attract large numbers. It needs to be “market driven,” shaped by the needs of an ever-changing society. Marva Dawn writes, The emphasis on measurement and experts is revealed by the huge push for worship practices to be changed in order to attract 84

large numbers and by the turning of congregations into megabusiness instead of Christian communities.75 The author believes this emphasis has been accepted by many contemporary worship leaders even in our own Lutheran Church -Missouri Synod. Presenting the Gospel in a more “winning way” has become the mantra for many in our church body. It is however, the author’s belief that the compromises being negotiated by those who seek a more contemporary setting for worship, provide the unintended and often times unavoidable consequences of replacing the key meeting places of God and his people with a video screen in front of the Altar, Pulpit, or Baptismal Font in the church and therebye diminish their significance to the worshiper. These are the Most Holy places in the church and, in the case of worship, through the Divine Service, become the very focal point of Gods interaction with His children. This is not to say that the use of a screen in worship is always wrong but rather to say that there are inherent dangers to misleading worshipers if care is not taken in its use.

75 Dawn, Reaching Out Without Dumbing Down, 29


Chapter 9 Results of the Project
In beginning the implementation of this project, the author initially sought to encourage and reinforce traditional, liturgical, Lutheran worship as biblical, effective, and faithful. It was believed that as St. Paul’s became engaged in the beauty and biblical underpinnings of her liturgical life, she would come to celebrate what had been handed down to her by her ancestors as her spiritual legacy. The author was aware of many misnomers regarding what constituted faithful worship and felt that this project would present a valuable opportunity for instruction and give way to a new appreciation to what St. Paul’s does in worship and why. Initially, as the project was being considered, there remained a small percentage of the congregation who were interested in a contemporary style of worship. The query had largely come from the high school youth group after having been exposed to contemporary styles in 86

their local Lutheran High School chapels and at the youth convention of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. Parent volunteers who chaperoned at the synod youth convention also began to question our exclusive use of traditional liturgical styles. The project sought to address the value of our current orders of worship over against the need for something new. A unit on contemporary worship was not presented due to the fact that at the time of the project, very few of the congregation expressed an interest in contemporary worship. The thought was to teach the value of what we do so that when members of St. Paul’s were exposed to contemporary worship, they would have heard and learned reasons for valuing our traditional liturgical service and a set of criteria for evaluating worship settings that are different from their own. The central focus of the project was on two test groups. The Seventh Grade confirmation class and their parents, and a weekday Bible study class taught by the Pastor were the primary groups chosen to assist in the project. There would be events where the whole congregation would be included but feedback would be obtained in written form from the aforementioned. For the confirmation class, a six part learning unit was designed, (see Appendix 1, 2, and 3) which traced the Biblical the roots of worship. In Parts 1 and 2, it encouraged them to observe closely examples of worship from Genesis through the tabernacle time of Moses and establish a minimum criterion of aspects to God-pleasing worship (See Appendix 1). In parts 3 and 4, (See Appendix 2) they were given the opportunity to examine temple worship and compare it to what they learned in units 1 and 2. Special focus was given to the criteria they had established for worship in units 1 and 2 and whether Temple worship would meet the same criteria. A brief overview of the function of synagogue worship was also introduced and a form of the worship used in the synagogue was explained. 87

The final units, 5 and 6, (Appendix 3) examined worship of the New Testament Christian church and especially the worship of St. Paul’s congregation. The units were designed to reveal continuity in many worship practices from the Old Testament through today. Special emphasis was given to the holy space reserved for worship (see Unit 3 Test, Appendix 3) and its similarity to other holy spaces which had previously been studied. Time was taken to explain the special aspects of St. Paul’s worship space and the items placed inside to enhance the congregation’s worship. The students and parents learned to use their hymnals to guide them in their study and this gave them an appreciation for the biblical foundation for the liturgies which they use during worship at St. Paul’s. The results were mixed following the implementation of the worship units. The children tested did find a new appreciation for what they do in worship and more importantly what God does in worship. They were especially impressed with how closely we are linked to the historical worship of God’s people. They learned that the Bible consistently portrays worship as God driven and the service should be seen primarily as His service to us. The significance of the tearing of the temple curtain became highly significant top them and fit well as the transition point for the introduction of worship in the New Testament period. The author would like to say that the completion of the worship unit produced an increased desire to attend worship but no notable increase in worship attendance was observed. While the author believes that a significant amount of new information was given to the children and that they grew in their knowledge of worship and its history, the overall effect of the project upon the children will be observed as they continue to grow and face new styles of worship. The parents of the seventh grade confirmands shared a similar growth in their understanding of what takes place in the worship of God’s people. They expressed a particular 88

appreciation for having the opportunity afforded them to learn again, (some for the first time) why we do what we do in our worship service. Many expressed that it made their worship more centered on Christ and less on their own efforts. They especially looked forward to the worship sermons at the conclusion of the study unit. They said it made them better prepared to hear about what they had studied. When asked if they felt that this unit on worship should be taught again to the next years confirmation class they responded unanimously in the affirmative. They even asked if there were a way to offer this to the general adult membership of the congregation. The other group affected directly by the unit on worship was the Weekday Bible Class held on Wednesday mornings in the church. This class became the other test group in the congregation who would evaluate the sermons which highlighted the units taught to the confirmation class and their parents. Each member was to fill out a sermon evaluation form for each of the three sermons preached on the theme of worship (See Appendix 1, 2, 3). These forms became very helpful in evaluating the congregation’s view of the project and assessing the achievement of the goals held by the author in implementing the project. A summary of each phase of the project by the Adult Bible class is given for the purpose of further evaluating the project. Two questions noted in the sermon evaluation forms (See Appendix 1, 2, 3) were reviewed for this purpose. The first question common to all three forms, asked for the hearers response as to how aspects of the worship period being presented connected to the worship we experience today. The following is a summary of the responses to the sermon on Exodus 33:7-11 regarding Unit One (Appendix 1). Several of the respondents noted that Sacrifice was central to Old Testament worship. Animals are the Old Testament type and Christ and his sacrifice on the cross the fulfillment of the type i.e., the antitype. A few people mentioned that Moses held the role of mediator for Israel 89

in the Old Testament but now Christ held it for everyone in the New Testament. There was also noted the significance of God’s presence in both times. God comes to us in worship as surely as he did in the cloud in the days of Moses though they did not connect this presence of God to the sacrament but rather in the invocation. It was interesting to note that while the author did not preach on the role of the pastor, one respondent noted that when we worship, Jesus mediates his presence through the pastor as he absolves us from our sins. It is clear from the response of the first sermon on worship that the people who responded did connect a sense of continuity in some fundamental aspects of worship in the tabernacle period to worship which they were engaged in the present. They saw the roles of Moses and Jesus to be similar in the two time periods as far as mediation for the people of God. They gathered a rich sense of the presence of God in both time periods and saw purpose in what they do as they worship together. The group was asked to rate the sermon on the basis of helping them to understand how God related to His people through their worship in the Old Testament. They were to score between 1and 5, 1 being poor, and 5 being excellent (See Appendix 1). The scores averaged 4.75. The low score being a 3 and the high score a 5. The second sermon was preached on Psalm 122:1 and dealt with worship in the temple. The key question asked was “How did your pastor tie together temple worship to the way you worship today?” It should be noted that as part of the project, a special service was prepared to inform the congregation what worship was like in the temple. A shofar, cymbals, choirs, etc. were used and much of the format for worship was gained from Edersheim’s description of the temple worship in the days of Jesus.76 The benediction was given before the sermon and then it was explained that the worshippers at the temple would be dismissed and often meet with their

76 Alfred Edersheim, The Temple Its Ministry And Services, Updated Edition. 49-54


rabbi’s in the temple courts after the service. It was there that they would often be taught the meaning of the Scriptures and receive instruction in the faith. Most respondents noted that the worship itself was a memorable experience as did many of the congregation. Kneeling to pray when the shofar was blown and hearing the choirs sing the liturgy and chant the psalms was very helpful in imagining worship in the days of Jesus. The cymbals kept everyone thoroughly awake and when it came time for the sermon at the end of the service they were all very interested in the correlation between the two worship time periods. The following is a summary of the remarks recorded on the sermon evaluation forms. The use of the shofar, cymbal, no organ, choirs to do the singing, and their kneeling to pray really helped them to visualize a sense of the worship life in the temple. One respondent pointed out that the people at the temple needed God’s gracious gifts just as we do today. They saw worship centering around the gracious gifts of God’s mercy, forgiveness, blessing etc. It was interesting to hear them note that God really had no need of anything. People came to worship primarily to receive from God what they desperately needed. This was a minor point made by their pastor but one which they seemed to hold on to. Another person mentioned the pattern to worship revealed in the Temple Period. They further noted worship was to be continued throughout the week. Worship was what they did with their lives the rest of the week. This was how the Jews viewed their worship life. Many noted that the same God serves us in our worship as he did Israel at the temple. God’s abiding presence was stressed by many as the thought they carried away from their worship that day. The tearing of the temple curtain was mentioned by many as a heavenly sign that worship of God’s people had been forever changed. Some noted the similarities between the two periods of worship. Candles were used, a font was present, chanting, sacrifice then sacrament now were all items mentioned as being similar. One person saw Temple 91

worship as the way God got the people of Israel ready for Jesus and her own worship as the way God was getting her ready for heaven. Finally, one shared that table fellowship replaced sacrifice for true communion with God. Following the second sermon it appeared that most people recognized a similarity shared between services. From the tabernacle to the temple much stayed the same. The temple was the first permanent structure and that seemed to help them relate more closely to their current worship practice. They all mentioned that worship in the Temple Period had a structure which shared many similarities with their own worship life today. The participants were asked to rate the sermon on the basis of how it helped them to understand how God related to the people of Israel through their worship in the temple. They were to score between 1and 5, 1 being poor, and 5 being excellent (See Appendix 2). The scores averaged 4.91. The low score being a 4 and the high score a 5. The third sermon was preached on 1 Corinthians 3:16-17. Its subject was worship in the Lutheran Church today. The goal was to help the worshipper see that we share a common God with those who have gone before us and a connectedness with all the saints as we bring our unified praise to God and receive his gifts in worship. The author also wished to continue the thought that our worship includes how we live during the week. That is our service to God. God’s service to us is what happens when we gather together to receive his gifts. God’s service enables our service. This aspect of worship was especially reinforced in the third and final sermon. In order to evaluate the project more objectively three questions were added to the Sermon Evaluation Form. The first question which was repeated throughout the series was, “How did your pastor tie worship from the past with your worship today?” The answers to this 92

question reinforced the author’s opinion that a continuity in the Divine Service to worshipers of all times was firmly established in the minds of the participants. Some mentioned that in the past sacrifices were necessary but no longer because Jesus was sacrificed once for all. We no longer have to take off our shoes, or erect a curtain to separate us from the holiness of God because Christ has made us acceptable in God’s sight by giving us his holiness. We are now the temple of God and the Spirit of Christ lives within us. Others noted that fellowship with God is now possible without barriers because Christ is the mediator not Moses or even the sacrifices. Some suggested that change in worship is not needed but rather change in the worshipper. God has faithfully provided his blessings and gifts generation after generation to his Church. That needs no improvement. The way we approach God and his gifts need is what needs improvement. Several mentioned that one aspect of worship that had never occurred to them was that they were preparing for heavenly worship by what they are doing now in the Divine Service. While all mentioned a drawing closer to God through Christ’s mediated presence, several saw this as illustrated most clearly through the sacraments; especially Holy Communion. The gap between God and man due to man’s sin has been breached by the cross and man is brought into the Holy of Holies covered by the blood of Christ to fellowship directly with the Son of God. One woman noted, “We are now temples of God because the Spirit of Christ dwells in us. Our hearts and souls are sanctuaries where God resides. We receive nourishment from Jesus’ body and blood during Communion in our worship service along with forgiveness, salvation and eternal life.” A second question on the evaluation form was, “As a result of this three-part series, have you developed a greater appreciation for what you do when you worship and why you're doing


it?” This question was asked to assess the success of the project overall. A summary of the answers to this question are as follows. Some related at the sermon series helped them to better understand our connection to worship in the past. One person noted that they are more convinced than ever that they want their worship to stay the way it is and not change. They propose that worship isn't about what we do but what about what God does for us, therefore if our worship focuses upon God's gifts and God's actions, no change needs to be made. One person noted that the sermon series helped them to carry their worship through the week and the idea of preparing for heavenly worship caused them to see their earthly worship in a new light. One participant noted that they now discern the richness of the liturgy and how much God's powerful Word is woven through the Divine Service. One woman noted that she learned that her worship was not for God's benefit but for hers. “Sadly,” she said, “we all can go about worship as if it's all about us and what we do, not about what God does for us.” Another participant stated he had a greater enthusiasm for worship. He said he wanted his worship to be beneficial in strengthening his faith and bringing him closer to his Savior and noted that through these services it has. Most of the participants noted that the time taken to explain each part of the worship service was very helpful. They liked having the opportunity to review what each part of the liturgy meant. A final question on the sermon evaluation form dealt with St. Paul's congregation as a whole. The question was, “Do you feel this project was helpful to St. Paul's as we discuss the worship issues we are facing today? Why or why not?” (See Appendix 3) The answers were largely positive and may be divided into two categories. The first category of answers generally stated a discerned connection between the worship throughout history of God's people and our worship today. Many expressed an appreciation for the explanation of the various parts of the 94

liturgy provided in the final worship service. Some were intrigued by the close connection we’ve maintained to the style of worship Jesus used while on the earth while others, saw the formal worship that we use in the Divine service, as a good preparation for what we will use one day when we are in heaven. The concept of God drawing near to us in our worship in order to give us his gifts was mentioned again and again. One man noted, “This shows the connection between early Christian worship and our worship today. We don't need to change something that works so well.” Another said, “Now I know what it all means!” A second category of answers provided for this final question, dealt more with the issue of contemporary worship. All the respondents cited reasons for concern regarding a new style of worship. While contemporary worship was not specifically addressed by this project, it was a significant issue for St. Paul's congregation during the implementation of this project. Many of the comments regarding the concerns over a “new” service at St. Paul's, were a direct result of the presentation of our liturgical worship in a positive way and not direct comments from the pastor regarding a contemporary or blended service. In short, the participants used what they learned during the implementation of this project, to comment regarding a different style of worship. A summary of those comments are as follows. One participant wrote as follows, “People don't need a change in worship. The changes needed are in the worshiper. Contemporary service is totally unnecessary.”Another person wrote, “I feel it (the sermon series) was very important as there seems to be a strong effort to change our service to satisfy people who want a contemporary service. I think this is an unnecessary movement. Our Divine service originates from the Bible and should stay that way.” Several mentioned that this project provided for them a broader outlook of what was necessary for true worship. Many mentioned a greater appreciation for what they do now in their worship. One 95

woman mentioned that the congregation needed to know why the worship service contains the elements it does. She went on to say that whenever the church changes its way of worship, the danger of straying from the focus of being biblically rooted in God's Word increases. One person noted that the sermon series was especially helpful at the present time. She said that with the congregation considering a praise service it has helped her to evaluate the structure of such a worship service. One man noted that the sermon series gave him a clearer understanding of why worship is important and cautioned that it would be dangerous if we ignore what had been taught here and proceed with a worship service that obfuscates the true meaning of worship. From these summaries one might gather that, for at least the participants, the project was very beneficial. Many grew in their knowledge regarding the continuity of worship from generation to generation and gained a new appreciation for their connectedness to the historical worship of their ancestors. Others gained new knowledge regarding the various parts of the liturgy and what they mean. All the participants acknowledged growth in their understanding of what happens in worship and why. They expressed appreciation for the project and their participation in it. They came to understand the Divine Service as being God's service to them and all of them expressed that their worship had been enhanced because of this new understanding of what takes place in worship. Because the basic aspects

of worship were presented and highlighted for their understanding during the project, they were given the tools by which they could evaluate all forms of worship. Much of their commentary regarding contemporary worship was a direct result of the application of what they had learned through this project. All the participants felt that portions of the project should be used every year to reinforce the value and meaning of our worship. Many even suggested that the three part sermon series should be placed online on our congregation’s website for others to benefit from. 96

This last suggestion is currently being worked on and should be available by the time this project is presented.

Chapter 10 A Personal Evaluation


In assessing the value of the project, I would have to admit that it could have been much more effective had it began 6 months prior to the actual implementation. At the onset, St. Paul's congregation had not been considering an alternative worship style. I began the actual implementation of the project shortly after chaperoning a group of high school students and parent volunteers to a national youth convention presented by the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod’s Board for Youth Services. The primary style of worship for this youth convention throughout the week was largely contemporary in nature and included professional bands, speakers, lighting, and actors. Following the convention, our group met to discuss the merits of this type of service, and how it compared with the type of service we use for worship at St. Paul's. While the high school youth enjoyed the service, they realized that this was not reflective of a normal contemporary service. The bands had been preparing for three years to accompany the worship. Likewise so had the actors who portrayed the passion of Christ, and the speakers, who had been given a text to preach on many years in advance. In addition to this students readily recognized that a worship service which included 40,000 other Lutherans was a rare experience. They all reflected how inspiring it was to have so many other Lutherans confessing the same faith, singing the same songs, and praying the same prayers. The sheer volume of voices was something they had never experienced before and many would never experience again. The parent volunteers who accompanied the youth as chaperones witnessed their sons and daughters engaged in worship like they had never seen before. They became most encouraged and excited having seen their child's faith ignited in their participation of this style of worship. Even I, as their pastor, would readily admit that it was an awesome experience. 40,000 young people singing The Church's One Foundation, is a remarkable thing to say the least. 98

What surprised me the most was the parents who became converts almost overnight. The enthusiastic talk of contemporary worship remained with us all the way home. No amount of cautions on my part regarding some important issues which this type of worship could raise made any difference at all. They had seen their children worship with an enthusiasm which they had not evidenced before and wanted it to continue. They immediately approached the congregational leadership to request that St. Paul’s begin to implement a contemporary service. The governing board of the church had several members with high school youth in their family and seeing how enthusiastically the youth returned from the convention readily agreed that St. Paul’s needed to provide a venue for this enthusiasm to continue. An experimental service was agreed upon before I as the pastor was even consulted. I begged the congregation to slow down and let us study the issue together. I reminded them that my doctoral project covered worship and, while I had not completed my study, I could still share with them many reasons for my reticence regarding this type of worship for St. Paul’s. After much pleading, they agreed for me to teach a 6 week course on worship which would explain the pros and cons of traditional liturgical worship verses contemporary worship. Meanwhile a group of members went to contemporary services at various other local Missouri Synod churches to observe what they were doing and how they first implemented this type of worship in their own congregations. At the end of my series on worship, the congregation voted to pursue a once a month contemporary service. While I asked for more time to finish my studies on this type of worship, it was felt that we as a congregation had studied the subject sufficiently to safely begin the process and remain faithful to God’s Word. The justification for the new worship was that we were not going to eliminate our traditional liturgical services, we


were just going to add a new service. It wouldn’t even be on Sunday so that it would not compete with the other services. The result has been a blended service with the typical elements of the liturgy implemented and some newer songs added with a more contemporary melody. The songs are selected from the Commission on Worship’s list of acceptable contemporary songs for worship. This service is held once a month on Saturdays. The average attendance for this service is between 50 and 75 people. It is interesting to note that most people who attend this worship service also attend worship service on Sunday morning. The intent of the author's project was to highlight the value of St. Paul's traditional liturgical worship style. It was thought that this format would help the congregational members of St. Paul's to grow to appreciate even more the value and meaning behind traditional liturgical worship and it's connectedness to the worship of God's people throughout the ages. The author was not prepared to address contemporary worship as an alternative to the Divine Service utilized at St. Paul's. It was hoped that the current style of worship the people of St. Paul's utilized would be so valued and treasured that contemporary worship would not be a consideration. Unfortunately, the issue of contemporary worship, visualized prior to the implementation of the project. As a consequence, the project had not been given an opportunity to accomplish the goals projected before a blended worship service became a reality at St. Paul's. While the project was deemed late in its implementation, especially regarding the circumstance the author was facing in his own congregation regarding contemporary worship, it was not without effect. The vast majority of St. Paul's congregation continues to desire a traditional liturgical worship style as has been practiced in St. Paul's congregation throughout its history. Many adult worshipers noted how much they appreciated instructional phase of the 100

project especially the sermon series on worship. They noted their worship was enhanced, and they understood in a far more significant way why they worship the way they do and the value behind it. Many additionally expressed how much they appreciated having been informed of the historical nature of their worship. They expressed a new appreciation for the liturgical phrase, “now with Angels and archangels and all the company of heaven” which is featured in the center stained glass window of the altar area. Regarding the two test groups which were specifically targeted in the project, neither group has been actively involved in the blended worship service now provided by the congregation. The adults strongly prefer traditional liturgical worship as their style of worship. The youth in the seventh grade confirmation class continue to worship in the traditional liturgical style. It should be noted that the author did not begin nor implement this project with any intent of promoting one worship service over the other. The only thought was to encourage the appreciation of the value of traditional Lutheran liturgical worship. At no time has there been any attempt by the author to diminish what takes place in a Saturday blended worship service or to encourage competition between the two services. It was my sincere belief that when the services were compared side-by-side by members of the congregation, the value of our traditional liturgical Lutheran service would be readily recognized. As far as the test groups are concerned that seems to be the case. The blended worship which the congregation chose to add as a monthly, Saturday service, was proposed for the following reasons. First, it was noted that many children, after they are confirmed, no longer participate actively in the congregation. Their worship falters and high school youth group participation is very poor. Some of the congregation felt that this type of worship would attract the youth and keep them actively involved in the church. In observing the 101

worshipers at the blended service I can honestly say that this is not the case. Very little high school participation is visible and those who have attended have been asked to be present to assist in the worship through reading a lesson, ushering, or assisting in some other way. Therefore, if increasing the participation of our high school youth was a desired outcome of this service then, it may be readily noted that this goal is not as yet being met. It is the author's opinion that the style of worship was never truly the issue for our high school age youth’s poor participation in worship. Parenting, spiritual apathy, as well as competition with sports, and other activities, and are deemed by the author to be at the root of problem regarding the worship of high school-aged children. As was noted before, the problem is not with the worship, rather it is the worshiper. The second reason for beginning a blended service was a perceived void in what we were offering the community. Many have observed rapid growth in non-denominational churches who utilize a contemporary worship style in our community. It was proposed that if we provided such a service, it would be more visitor friendly and offer new opportunities for people to worship who otherwise wouldn't visit our church. In the author's point of view two immediate problems are found in this type of rationalizing. First, it suggests that there is something inherently wrong or lacking in our Divine Service that would cause it to be detrimental to visitors. Since worship is about God conveying his gifts to us, the only logical conclusion one may form is that God is withholding something from us in the Divine Service that is conveyed in a contemporary form of service. Second, it suggests a formula that equates increasing numbers as a means to determine “successful worship.” Is the author's belief that the primary goal for worship is to feed the faithful with the spiritual food God gives, i.e., Word and Sacrament. Worship is more about nourishing and 102

equipping than converting. An increase in the number of faithful believers is the work of the Holy Spirit not man’s work. For this reason I think much of the argumentation promoting blended worship comes from unrealistic expectations and a misunderstanding of the basic nature of worship. This is not to say that having a blended worship service or even a contemporary one for that matter is in essence wrong. There can be legitimate reasons for and faithful representations of these types of worship. However, the reasons given above are inadequate at best, and often, if taken seriously, tend to undermine the Divine Service. It is believed this is not the personal intent of those seeking a more contemporary service but rather it is the unfortunate offspring of what follows in the pursuit of such a service. For this reason it is the author’s belief that the addition of a worship service should be pursued with all due caution. Our personal note, there were many benefits experienced in the pursuit of this product. There were some things, as a matter of course, that I had grown to take for granted throughout my life. Worship was one of them. I was raised in a confessional church that never embraced the idea of contemporary worship though it was my generation that began to pursue its use. I worship the way my father did and that is a comforting feeling. Throughout my time at the seminary I continued to be reinforced in my worship expectations. Although I had experienced some forms of contemporary worship in my college years, I was never drawn to them. It was therefore, the last thing I ever expected to encounter in my years as a pastor. I first grew concerned as a pastor when I discovered our local Lutheran high school was primarily using contemporary worship as their chapel format. Many of my members were students there, including my own children. When they begin to question why we couldn't have a worship opportunity like the one presented at their high school, I decided it was time put more effort into educating our member’s children about the value of the Divine Service. In addition, I 103

wanted the opportunity to personally grow in my understanding of what happens in worship and the history of the worship of God's church. At this time there was no adult talk of a contemporary service therefore, I felt certain that beginning worship instruction at the seventh grade confirmation level was the best way of addressing my concerns. I also wanted to give parents more information and encouragement regarding the way we worship, so that as they began to deal with these issues with their children, they might be better equipped to draw on the strengths of the Divine Service, as the reason why they worship as a family in this manner. The first segment, therefore, dealt with the seventh grade confirmation class and their parents. It sought to cover a general understanding of the history of the worship of God's people with a special emphasis on how connected we are to worshipers of all times. I sought to address the question, “What are the minimum requirements outlined in the Bible for worship for all generations?” The next question that I asked was, “Are we able to use these minimum requirements found in the Bible to evaluate our worship today?” It was my belief that by establishing basic guidelines found in the Scriptures regarding the worship of God's people, I would be able to apply those guidelines toward evaluating all worship including contemporary worship for the purpose of determining the value of such services. One of the first things that I discovered was that I had much to learn. The vast amount of research necessary for me to track worship from the Old Testament time of Adam and Eve, through the Tabernacle Period, Temple and Synagogue Period, to today was a bit overwhelming. In addition to this many of the details regarding Temple worship are simply not given in the Scriptures. Secondary sources became an absolute premium in trying to determine what took place in a specific way during the Temple Era. Many of them too, were fragmented, however, the


primary aspects of Temple worship were consistent and what was left out could be pieced together to form an understanding of what took place. A side effect of having studied worship could be evidenced in my preaching. I found myself mentioning worship much more frequently and the topics that involve worship. It made me aware of the unique opportunity we had each week to stand before God and receive from him his gifts of forgiveness, life, salvation. The hymns too, became more significant to me. I found myself thinking more purposely how to integrate the subject matter of the hymns we would be using for worship each week with the theme of my sermon. This helped me to think of worship more as a whole, rather than individual parts. I suspect that my leadership in worship flowed better as a result of my studies though I have no empirical evidence to substantiate this. Overall, what I do in worship and why makes more sense to me. A second byproduct of the pursuit of this project is evidenced by the growth of the author in his ability to organize, plan, implement, and accomplish his workday. With the many demands of a large parish and the significant time required to pursue this doctorate, the author found it necessary to reprioritize and better organize his life. Time management was deemed an area which needed improvement and the implementation of this project forced it upon me. I've learned to be much more conscientious in scheduling appointments, time for personal growth, as well as scheduling significant time for research. I have found that I am accomplishing more on a day-to-day basis because I'm much better organized. Apart from this project I'm not convinced this would have taken place. This is proven to be of utmost value to me as I am currently the sole pastor in a parish that has for the last 10 years had two pastors. There appears to be no intent to fill the position of associate pastor at the present therefore, the need for me to be organized and a careful planner is more important than ever. 105

Finally, I have discovered a growing ability to think theologically through an issue. This, I feel, has contributed significantly to the implementation of my pastoral duties. I have a greater tendency to ask the question, “How does this issue reflect upon our understanding of God's will for us as conveyed in his word?” This compels me, as well as the people I minister to, to take a closer look at God's word for answers to difficult issues. There's a new confidence I have gained from utilizing the word of God as the authority and source behind my ministry. I find myself offering to study the Word of God with my membership to work our way through their differences together. When a married couple approaches me with marital troubles, I'm more inclined now to suggest that we sit down together and study God's Word for the answer to their difficulties. This has led to more confidence in the solutions that they are provided. My question is often, “What would God say about all this?” The answer to this often requires that we open our Bibles together. This is proved most profitable for me as well as the people in my ministry. Ultimately, I have found this project to be helpful to me in many ways. I've grown as a pastor as I've experienced the process of researching, writing, and implementing the project. My ability to research a topic theologically and extensively has grown and made me more confident in the area teaching about worship and worship issues. The knowledge that I have gained through the study undertaken in regard to this project has improved my ability as a worship leader and as a teacher of the faith. The process of undertaking the project has helped me to improve my time management skills, and my efficiency is a pastor. Finally, this project has been a goal of mine since I graduated from seminary. To be able to say that I have accomplished this goal is of great significance to me. When I graduated from the seminary, I made a promise to Dr. Robert Preus that I would pursue this goal. It gives me great personal satisfaction to come to this point and complete my promise to him. 106

Appendix 1 The Project Part 1 Old Testament Worship: From Creation to the Tabernacle
In the pursuit of this project, it is the writer's intention to discover criteria to assess the Biblical fundamentals of Christian worship and be able as such to apply them in the evaluation of traditional/liturgical and contemporary worship modes. In addition the writer will lead the congregation through three sermons on the heart and meaning of worship. The first sermon will cover a view of the Old Testament tabernacle worship with an emphasis in the concept of justification and the role of sacrifice. The second sermon will cover the period of Temple worship with its emphasis on the proximity of the people of God to their Creator as well as its types and symbols preparing the people for God's ultimate act of redemption. The third sermon will tie the two periods to the form of worship at St. Paul's Lutheran Church showing how justification and the means of grace flow from the continuity of the worship of God's people and an understanding of how God has bridged the gap between our relationship with Him, through His Son.


The test group to be utilized during the project would be the seventh grade confirmation class and their parents. Six lessons will be taught on the three time periods including three quizzes and sermon evaluation forms. It is the belief of the writer that a new appreciation of why St. Paul's worships with a traditional, liturgical approach will be the ultimate outcome of this project, both for the participants and for the writer.

Unit 1: Worship from Adam to the Tabernacle
The following worksheets served as guidelines for discussion concerning the development of worship practices in the Old Testament. A test is administered to the Seventh Grade Confirmation Class to assess learning skills. The goal of the exercise is to show how worship changed and gradually became ordered at God=s command due to the influence of sin upon man.


WORKSHEET 1 - The Earliest Forms of Worship Adam and Eve - Read Genesis 2:18-25; 3:8-9. What can you notice about Adam and Eve’s early relationship with God? Adam and Eve had a perfect relationship with God at the beginning. They walked and talked with God and were naked and unashamed. After they had sinned they hide from God. In their shame they cover themselves with fig leaves and fear God’s punishment for their wrong doing. Cain and Abel - Read Genesis 4:3-7. What can we learn in the story of Cain and Abel that is different about their relationship with God from ours? What is missing from Cain=s sacrifice? What elements seemed to constitute their worship of God? Cain and Abel talked to God and He spoke to them openly. Cain’s heart was not in his offering. He was simply going through the motions of worship without truly giving thanks to God for all of His blessings. They set aside a time to worship, brought a sacrifice, offered it to the Lord with prayers and thanksgiving. God is present to receive their worship and respond with His blessing in the case of Abel. Noah - By the time of Noah what has happened to man=s relationship with God? (See Genesis 6:5-8) How would you describe Noah=s worship life? (Genesis 6:8-9, 22;) What elements were present in Noah=s worship? (Genesis 8:20; 9:8-17) Man no longer worshiped or obeyed God. Noah walked with God. He was blameless, a righteous man among the people of his time. First, an altar is present. Animal sacrifice takes place at the altar to honor God. God is present to receive the worship of Noah and his family. A covenant promise results as God’s gift to Noah and family. 109

Abraham - Worship is continued in Abraham=s life. What are the elements of worship that are shared with Noah, Abel, and Adam and Eve? (See Genesis 12:7-8; 13:3-4; 13:14-18.) What new things do we find added to Abraham=s worship? (Genesis 14:18-20.) God’s presence is noted in all the instances. An altar is present. A sacrifice is offered and God blesses following the event. There is a mediator, a priest, who accepts Abram’s tithe offering to the Lord. He incorporates bread and wine in the worship and connects it to the blessing of God.

List all the common elements you found in the early history of worship. 1. Worship is initiated by God 2. An altar is erected or present 3. An offering or sacrifice is made 4. God is present

5. God blesses with a covenant or promise

The earliest forms of worship had five common elements. From Adam to Moses all five are readily recognized in the worship life of God=s faithful people. The five elements are: 1. Worship is God driven. God initiates the relationship with man in an effort to draw man to Himself. 2. An altar is present. If none exists, one is built to satisfy the godly meeting. 3. An offering/sacrifice is usually present together with a prayer for God=s mercy and blessing 4. God is locally present for the event. 5. God blesses the faithful worshiper with His word through a covenant or promise. These five things serve as the form for worship in the Old Testament before the introduction of the tabernacle. When Moses entered the scene further form and substance was given to the worship life of the people of God. This was partly due to the redemptive acts experienced in the rescue of God=s people of Israel from the hands of the Egyptians. God desired his people to remember what He had done for them and in fact to adopt worship orders which specifically retold the great events. Thus the command to continue to keep the Passover and various other feasts and rites which would serve to remind the people what God had done for them. In addition to this, however, God prescribed specific forms to assure that Israel would not lose their faith. It was important that the message of God=s present and future salvation be told accurately. Ritual habit in worship would help assure that his people would not confuse or lose His message of salvation. It would be presented in the same way continually emphasizing the faithfulness of Israel=s God. There were all too many occasions where Israel had strayed from 110

the proper worship of their God due to free forms in worship which led to disunity, false teaching and perversion of the faith. God appears to take matters into his own hands to assure that these abominations no longer persist. In the following diagram the tabernacle is depicted. Identify each of the following areas of the tabernacle. See Exodus 40 (Outer Court, Holy Place, Holy of Holies) Now identify each of the following items with the proper blank provided. (table of showbread, altar of incense, golden lamp stand, ark of the covenant, bronze laver, bronze altar, temple curtain) Now place the following participants in worship in their appropriate place. (God, The High Priest, the priests, the levites, the people) Use Exodus 33:7-11 as your guide.


Now let=s label the steps taken once a year on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) by the priests and specifically the High Priest as man approaches the holiness of God in worship. See Leviticus 16 for help. 1. The high priest must offer a young bull for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering for himself and for his family. 2. He is to cleanse himself with water before putting on his sacred garments 3. He must take two male goats for the people=s sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering. One goat will be offered up as a sin offering the other will be the scapegoat. 112

4. Next he will take a censor full of burning coals and two handfuls of burning incense into the Holy of Holies and make a cloud of smoke so that he doesn=t see God and die. 5. He is to take some of the bull’s blood that has already been sacrificed and sprinkle it with his finger on the front of the atonement cover. Then again seven times more he is to sprinkle the blood in front of the atonement cover. 6. Now he is to slaughter the goat which is the sin offering for the people and take it behind the curtain and do the same thing he did with the bull=s blood. 7. No one must enter the tabernacle while the high priest does his duties or they will die. 8. Now he comes out of the tabernacle and sprinkles blood from the bull and ram on the horns of the altar and seven times before the front of it. This is once again for the sake of his sin and the people’s sin. 9. After this he is to bring the live goat and lay his hands heavily upon it and confess all the sins of Israel and place them symbolically upon its head. Then take the goat to a desolate place and release it. 10. Next he is to go back into the tabernacle and take off his sacred garments and leave them there in the tabernacle and wash with water then change back into his other priestly garments. 11. Finally he is to come out and place the sacrifice upon the altar to be consumed with fire.

Notice how God and man remain separated in worship. Man needs a substitute (in this case the high priest) to bridge the distance between the holiness of his God and his own sinfulness. God institutes an elaborate system of sacrifice to draw man into a grace-filled relationship with Him and the priesthood to make it all possible. The priest as mediator, becomes that bridge, that go-between to reunite man with his Creator. The sacrifices cleanse all parties, both the priest and the people, so that the mediation of the priest becomes acceptable before God. Blood must be shed for sins to be forgiven. Man then receives the benefit of the shed blood of 113

the innocent animal and the forgiveness sought becomes his by faith. But will God be satisfied with this arrangement? No! This is at best temporary. There are better things to come as we shall see in our next lesson.

Old Testament Worship Quiz 1


Part 1 - Directions: Match the following letter to the correct blank. 1. ____The high priest 2. ____ The scapegoat 3. ____ The tabernacle a. something burned on an altar b. a cloud in the daytime c. visits the Holy of Holies one day a year 114

4. ____ Sacrifice 5. ____ Mediator 6. ____ Passover 7. ____ Atonement 8. ____ Offering 9. ____ Levite 10.____ God=s presence

d. carries the sins of Israel into the desert e. speaks to God for the people f. helps in the tabernacle and with the sacrifices g. great tent where God dwelt. h. event that saved the Israelites from death I. something given to God in thanksgiving j. making peace between God and man

Part 2 - Directions: place a A+@ for each true statement and a A-@ for each false statement. 1. ____ Only the priests were allowed into the Holy of Holies in the tabernacle. 2. ____ In order to be forgiven for one’s sins a person had to offer sacrifice to God through the priests when he did wrong. 3. ____ God, in his holiness was impossible to approach without a mediator. 4. ____ In the Old Testament man stood far away from God when he worshipped. 5. ____ God designed a worship order for man because man had asked for a new way to worship. 6. ____ Cain=s offering wasn=t accepted by God because Cain didn=t bring an animal like his brother Abel did. 7. ____ No one worshipped God in the days of Noah except Noah and his family. 8. ____ Three things that were included in the early worship of Abraham were an offering or sacrifice, and an altar and God=s Word of promise. 9.____ Worship is AGod driven@ in the Old Testament. That is to say that God draws man into a relationship with Him by breaking down the barriers of sin which separate us from Him. 10.____ The sacrifices permanently cleansed Israel from her sins so nothing else would ever be needed to heal the broken relationship that the people experienced on account of their sin before God. Part 3 - Answer the following: 115

There were five key items that described worship in the Old Testament. List 4 of the five. 1.




Following the unit on Old Testament worship a sermon is preached to engage the entire congregation in the project and to obtain feedback from the author=s doctoral committee as well as the parents of the seventh grade confirmands. The outline for the sermon in Unit 1 follows below as well as a form for evaluating the sermon. No special order was used for the service in this unit. Divine Service 3 from LSB was used.

Old Testament Worship Sermon 1 Exodus 33:7-11 AWhen God Comes Calling Is it in Judgment or Grace@ 116

Introduction: Have you ever noticed what happens when one person sins against another? There is distance created. People will avoid each other while there is sin between them. Their speaking becomes strained and they don=t like to be near each other. A man and his son had long ago stopped talking to each other. Sin had come between them and the pain and hurt which followed caused them to go their own ways each distancing himself from the other=s life. There were no special holidays with the family together, no impromptu phone calls to share the news of grandson’s first ball game. The distance between them grew with each passing day. Loved ones tried to intervene on both sides of the family but to no avail. The bond of trust had been broken between the two and it seemed as though nothing was strong enough to reattach the strands of a divided family. I. Israel=s Disobedience Brought About A Change in Their Relationship to God. A. God distances himself from them 1. The tent of meeting is moved outside of camp to demonstrate how Israel had broken the covenantal relationship with God 2. They had rendered themselves unworthy of it and unless peace was made it would return to them no more. How would they ever be able to draw near to God again without fear? B. But God does not desert them! 1. Private individuals as well as Moses were encouraged to come and meet with God and make intercession concerning the broken covenant. 2. This was the tent of meeting and God would meet with his chosen mediator, Moses on behalf of the people. When the Law-giver becomes the mediator for Israel, hope remained high that a reconciliation with God might be possible. II. Only Moses May Enter the Tent of Meeting to Plead Israel=s Case. A. A direct relationship between God and man was no longer possible. 1. A mediator needed to intervene on behalf of the sinful people. God was unapproachable otherwise. Lack of a mediator would leave God with only one possible solution; judgment. 2. As Moses went into the Tent, all he hopes of Israel=s future hung in the balance. God would either visit Moses and accept his mediation or He would not. B. Moses sought to bridge the gap between God and man pleading for forgiveness for his people. 1. The people were entirely dependent upon the success of Moses= mediation with God. 117

2. When the cloud settled upon the tent with Moses inside, the hearts of all of all of Israel turned to hope and they all bowed down beside their tent to worship. III. The Result of Moses= Intervention Was God=s Instruction to Build A Tabernacle A. Here God would again dwell with His people 1. The Holy of Holies would contain his local presence 2. And mediation of the priesthood would be the mode by which God would interact with His people in a very ordered way. B. mercy. sinful man in mercy. Conclusion: As Our Repentant Hearts Go Forth To Meet God He Graciously Comes Down to Meet Us. Jesus would permanently intercede for us by shedding his blood on the cross that the wrath of God might be appeased and that we might return to a righteous relationship with Him. Worship in the Old Testament has miles to go to draw us back to a one to one relationship with God. For now though we must be content drawing near to God through our sacrifices. They, the sacrifices, will point us to what is to come; Jesus, the perfect sacrifice given up for the sins of the world. Next week we will see how God draws us closer yet to full fellowship with Him through worship in a permanent structure: the temple. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you always. Amen. Man would worship from a distance. But God would deal with his people in 1. A system of sacrifice would be instituted by God to allow fellowship. 2. The shedding of blood becomes the only way in which God draws near to

Sermon Evaluation for Exodus 33:7-11 The title of the sermon was: List one statement of the Law you heard. 118

List one statement of the Gospel that you heard.

What was something new that you learned about God?

What did you discover about yourself in listening to this sermon?

What new information about Old Testament worship did you find interesting?

How did your pastor tie together Old Testament worship to the way that you worship today?

On a scale of 1-5, how would you rate this sermon for helping you understand how God related to people through their worship in the Old Testament? 1 Poor 2 difficult to understand 3 average 4 good 5 excellent

Appendix 2 Unit 2 – Worship in the Temple
The following worksheet served as a guideline for discussion in the Seventh Grade Confirmation Class concerning the development of worship practices during the temple era. A test is included as an evaluative tool towards assessing their growth in knowledge regarding worship during the Temple Era. The goal of the exercise is to show how God drew man closer to Him symbolically and physically 119

through the mediation of sacrifice as Israel worshiped at a common permanent structure, i.e., the temple as well as to point out the similarities and differences between worship during the temple and tabernacle periods.

Worksheet 2 – Worship at the Temple 1. How long did it take to build Solomon’s Temple? 1 Kings 6:37-39 Seven years. 2. How was the temple like the Tabernacle? (compare the diagrams on page 123 and page 1455 in your Concordia Study Bibles) The structures were very similar with the temple patterned after the tabernacle. Both consisted of an outer court the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place but the temple was much larger than the tabernacle and a permanent structure. 120

3. How was the temple different from the Tabernacle? Where did the people worship in both settings? (Exodus 33:10; 1 Kings 8:22) The people worshipped at their tents in the tabernacle period and inside the outer court during the temple period 4. Where was God when the people worshipped? (Exodus 40:34-38; 1 Kings 8:10-12) God was sitting on the mercy seat of the Ark of the Covenant in both places.

5. What important item was brought to each structure for worship? (Lev.3:1-2; 1 Kings 8:5) The people brought animal sacrifices to worship.

6. What important difference can be noted between the Tabernacle and the Temple? (Exodus 40:38b; 1 Kings 8:13 ) The tabernacle was movable, portable. The temple was to be God’s permanent dwelling place. 7. What articles in the two worship structures were the same? (see bottom of page 125 and 483) The Ark of the Covenant, the Lamp-stand, The Table of Show Bread, The Altar of Incense, and the Bronze Altar

8. How did the size of the holy places compare? (see bottom of page 123 and 479 footnote r) The Tabernacle was 150 feet long by 30 feet wide. The Temple was 90 feet long by 30 feet wide but it was also 45 feet high One of the significant changes taking place during the time of temple worship for the Jews was the addition of the liturgical calendar as the pattern for worship life. In the first cycle, events were specially marked to remember Israel’s calling to be God’s special people and their life in the wilderness. The second cycle reflects upon the time of the possession of the holy land and grateful homage to God for his grace. This happens in the seventh month and is known as a time of rest to reflect the rest God gave the people of Israel after he brought an end to their


wandering. The Day of Atonement sits in the middle of the cycles as a feast day all its own, belonging to both the time of wandering and the time of rest in the Promised Land. In the first blank on the following worksheet mark the festivals that were remembered in the first cycle, (the time of the exodus and wandering) with the number 1 and those kept in the second cycle (the time of rest in the Promised Land) with the number 2. Purim 2 A D B E C

Tabernacles 2 Pentecost 1 Atonement 1

Unleavened Bread 1

Now on the other line match the definition of the feast with its name. A. Feast which celebrated the preservation of Israel by Esther and Mordicai. (Esther 9:26-28) B. Feast which celebrated the harvest of the crops that Israel had planted. (Exodus 23:16 see footnote in your Bibles) C. Feast which remembered the haste with which Israel had to make their food before leaving Egypt. (Exodus 12:14-17) D. Feast which commemorated living in the wilderness under God’s care. (Leviticus 23:33-43) E. Feast which remembered God forgiving Israel’s sins. (Numbers 29:7-11) Test 2 Name________________ “Temple Worship” Place a “T” for true and a “F” for false in the blank provided.


1.__F__ Temple worship involved a lot of singing by the people who worshipped. 2.__T__ At the climax of the worship service a sacrifice would be offered to God. 3.__T__ There is evidence that a type of organ may have been used at certain times during worship. 4.__T__ The harp was used as well as the cymbals and a trumpet to accompany worship in the temple. 122

5.__T__ A lute, much like the modern day guitar was an instrument used to accompany the choirs. 6.__T__ You had to be a Levite ( a priest’s helper) to sing in the adult choir. 7.__F__ People worshipped sitting, and kneeling but never standing since it would offend God. 8.__T__ The Temple was built on the highest ground in the city of Jerusalem. 9.__F__ The primary time for worship in the temple was Sunday morning at 9:00 a.m. which is why we worship on Sunday too. 10._F__ During the regular work week people were not permitted to worship in the temple but they could bring their sacrifices there to be offered to God. Part II -- Fill in the blank with the missing word. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. The people kneeled or stood up with hands raised in the air to __Pray_____. The people followed a _Liturgy___ when they worshipped. No one was allowed into the ____Temple_____ when they worshipped. The __Psalter____ served as the hymnal for worship. There was a great temple ___Curtain____ which separated the room where God was from where the priests would be allowed to go. When someone prayed at home they would always pray facing the __Temple___. A ___Font___ could be seen outside the entrance to the temple as was used by the priests to cleanse themselves. The __Altar of Insence___ was the place where the priest would offer up prayers to God. The __Men_____ and the __Women___ were separated during worship. The worshippers were allowed to be nearer to God in the Temple than in the __Tabernacle__.

Part III – Answer with a brief sentence or two. (Three points each) 1. Why was a permanent home for their God important to Israel? They knew that God would always be with them if he would dwell in the temple they made. 123


Explain why some of the blood of the sacrifice was placed on the 4 horns of the great altar? It covered all the directions on the compass to show that God had forgiven everyone their sins.

3. What were two similarities between Tabernacle worship and Temple worship? The furniture was the same. The design of the rooms was the same.

4. What were two differences between Tabernacle and Temple worship? People were allowed in the courtyard to worship nearer to God’s holy presence in the Temple than in the Tabernacle. And the Temple never had to move, the Tabernacle moved often.

5. What very significant thing happened to the temple when Jesus died on the cross? The temple curtain was torn in two by God. This meant that man would no longer be separated from God due to his sin because his sin had been forgiven.

The following is the worship service and sermon coordinated with Unit 2—Worship During the Temple Period. A sermon evaluation form follows as a means of determining the growth in knowledge of this aspect of worship in the life of Israel and its connection to the early worship of God’s people. The goal of this sermon was connect for the congregation many aspects of worship in the temple that we still use today and to give them an appreciation for what we do in worship as being tied to what our ancestors in the faith have done.


+PREPARATION + PRELUDE GREETING AND ANNOUNCEMENTS WELCOME: Today we find ourselves preparing to worship in the ancient temple. Many of the things you will do today will not seem all that different than what you usually do when you worship on Sunday at St. Paul’s. However there will be some new things you will encounter in your worship today. For one, your will be introduced to the shophar, a horn which helped people to know what to do in their worship. The cymbals, too, will signal to the congregation changes during worship. It is hoped that these 125

different instruments will help you identify with worship in the days of the Temple and find much there that relates to what we do from week to week. God bless us as we draw near to worship. CALL TO WORSHIP: Shofar Will Sound SevenTimes

(The Shofar (an ancient trumpet-like horn) is played seven times, each time three blasts. These trumpet calls signaled the opening of the doors to the temple and the beginning of worship. Symbolically, the trumpets were to proclaim the kingdom of God, divine providence, and the final judgment.)


“All People That on Earth Do Dwell”



(The human voice was perhaps the most important instrument used in temple worship. Mostly, the singing was undertaken by the Levites, the people’s praise limited to an “Amen” following a song or an antiphon to a psalm.)


pp. 184-185


Psalm 92: 1-8, 9-11, 12-15


1 It is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praises to your name, O Most High; 2 to declare your steadfast love in the morning, and your faithfulness by night, 3 to the music of the lute and the harp, to the melody of the lyre. 4 For you, O LORD, have made me glad by your work at the works of your hands I sing for joy. 5 How great are your works, O LORD! Your thoughts are very deep! 6 The stupid man cannot know; the fool cannot understand this: 7 that though the wicked sprout like grass and all evildoers flourish, they are doomed to destruction forever; 8 but you, O LORD, are on high forever.

The Congregation will kneel for prayer.
(As the Shofar Sounds the Congregation rises.)
9For behold, your enemies, O LORD, for behold, your enemies shall perish; all evildoers shall be scattered. 10But you have exalted my horn like that of the wild ox; you have poured over me fresh oil. 11My eyes have seen the downfall of my enemies; my ears have heard the doom of my evil assailants.

The Congregation will kneel for prayer.
(As the Shofar Sounds the Congregation rises.)


righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. 13They are planted in the house of the LORD; they flourish in the courts of our God. 14They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green, 15 to declare that the LORD is upright; he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.



(Congregation sings with choir)

Glory be to the Father and ‘to the Son* and to the Holy ‘ Spirit; As it was in the be- ‘ginning*, is now, and will be forever. ‘ Amen.

SHOFAR SOUNDS KYRIE: (Congregation Sings) p. 186

Lord, have mercy upon us, Christ, have mercy upon us. Lord, have mercy upon us.


(Congregation sings)

p. 187

Pastor: Glory be to God on high: People: And on earth peace, goodwill to men. We praise Thee, we bless Thee, we worship Thee, we glorify Thee, We give thanks to Thee, for Thy great glory. O Lord God, heav’nly King, God the Father Almighty. O Lord, the only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ; O Lord, God , Lamb of God, Son of the Father, That takest away the sin of the world, have mercy on us. Thou that takest away the sin of the world, receive our prayer. Thou that sittest at the right hand of God the Father, have mercy upon us. For Thou only art holy; Thou only art the Lord. Thou only, O Christ, with the Holy Ghost, art most high in the glory of God the Father. Amen. SALUTATION
Pastor: The Lord be with you. People: (sung) And with thy Spirit.

COLLECT: Almighty Lord, God of all that moves or breathes or has its being, we worship
You and honor You for Your eternal goodness. We come before You this day seeking Your face. We are not worthy but You, O Lord, are merciful. Grant unto us Your children Your mighty Spirit that we may magnify Your name to the glory of Your only begotten Son. Through Jesus Christ our Lord we pray.


Congregation: Amen



“How Lovely, Lord, How Lovely” For Congregation & Choir


Matthew 12:1-8



We give Thee but Thine own, Whate’er the gift may be. All that we have is Thine alone, A trust, O Lord, from Thee.

(8:30 Service will Continue with the Benediction, the Sermon Hymn and following.)


THE SERVICE OF HOLY COMMUNION (11:00) 200 Congregation may sing all parts of the liturgy. Preface Proper Preface Santus Lord’s Prayer Words of Our Lord Pax Domini 197 Agnus Dei Distribution Distribution Hymns: “An Infant Priest was Holy Born” “Open Now Thy Gates of Beauty” SOUNDING OF THE CYMBALS The Nunc Dimitis And Thanksgiving Salutation And Benedicamus BENEDICTION

pp. 194-

pp. 194

pp. 195

pp. 197 pp. pp. 198

624 901

p. 182 p. 201


“Holy, Holy, Holy”

LSB 507


“Our God is With Us. Let Us Rejoice!” 129

Psalm 122:1


“Draw us to Thee”
Verses 1-4 Verse 5

p.701 Choir Congregation


(All Sing)

He is Lord. He is Lord. He is risen from the dead and He is Lord. Every knee bow down, every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.

The Shofar is blown seven times, each time three blasts.
Note: Typically, the Jews would walk out of the temple backwards never taking their eyes off the Lord’s presence.

Israel’s Temple Worship - Sermon 2 Psalm 122:1 AI was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord @ Introduction: What do you say when it is time for church? Are you like King David when he said I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord! Is joy your first reaction? The Mother breathed a heavy sigh as she entered her son’s room. “Son, it’s time to get up,” she said. “Ah, Mom, I think I’ll sleep in today!” He exclaimed. “Not today,” she said, “It’s Sunday and you need to get ready for church.” “Mom, do I have to?” He complained. “Of course you have to. I’m surprised that you even need to ask.” “Give me one good reason why I have to get 130

up,” he challenged. “You’re the pastor and you have to get up! We can’t start church without you!” she responded. How do you approach your day of worship? Is coming to the Lord’s house a burden for you or a joy? If our time with the Lord has been scarce during the week, then the habit we formed during the week, will seek to follow us through the weekend. How do you respond to the statement, “It is time for worship?” I. Israel=s Week Centered Around the Belief That God Was With Them. A. The Temple was proof to all that God had chosen to dwell in their midst. 1. Therefore they saw their week as being lived out before the Lord. 2. And they sought to honor Him in what they did daily; from worship in the synagogue to worship in the temple. B. They understood that their God had chosen the temple as the place where He would meet with them. 1. They were in awe of his presence. The grandness of God’s presence was characterized in the details of the structure itself. No structure in Jerusalem could compare with the Temple. Is that how you view your church? Do you sense in awe God’s presence here? 2. They cherished the right to commune with him through their sacrifices. Their covenant life with him continued to form the basis for gracious association with their God for there could be no forgiveness of sins without the shedding of blood. (Exodus 24:8) II. Israel had been able to draw closer to God through the structure of the Temple. A. God had permitted Israel to draw nearer to him as they now were allowed to worship within the walls of the temple structure. 1. Priests could now enter the Holy Place where before only Aaron, the High Priest, and Moses had been able to draw near to God’s holy presence, his shechinah. 2. This marked God’s kairos, His timing of drawing nearer to man until His Son Jesus would complete the redemption of all men and make full fellowship with the Heavenly Father possible for everyone. Do you see your worship life as times God seeks to draw near to you or does God seem distant to you? B. Sadly, the Temple for all its grandeur became an excuse for formalism. 1. The people became dependent upon the structure as God’s sign of approval with them and they began to simply go through the motions of worship rather than to worship with their hearts. 2. How have we become like Israel? Do you find yourself going through the motions of worship without engaging your heart toward your fellowship with 131

God? It is for this reason that the Temple is ultimately destroyed. Is it time to tear down our temple? III. The Temple Could Not Achieve Oneness With God. It Was Only to Prepare Us for the One Who Would. A. Jesus would ultimately bring the glory of God back to the Temple. 1. His presence would signify that God had not forsaken his people but had come in the flesh to restore their relationship fully. Jesus tabernacled with man. He was the shekinah of God. 2. He would become the lamb who takes away the sin of the world. And through His suffering and innocent death become the one final sacrifice needed who would draw them back to God’s loving arms. B. The temple curtain would be torn in half by the power of the cross. 1. Intimate fellowship with God would finally be possible again as it once was in the garden. Separation from God was no longer necessary because through the cross all men had been cleansed and made acceptable. Jesus breached the distance and carried us safely to the Father again. 2. This opened the door to a new way of worship. Sacrifice was finished and so was the Sabbath day. What remains is a more intimate kind of worship, one where God and man are in full communion with one another. Sacrificial fellowship gives way to table fellowship. The power of sin which separated man from his God has been undone. Conclusion: Jesus did for us what the temple could never do. He became the innocent Lamb of God and through his suffering and death put an end to sacrifice as a means of approaching God; He brought us fully back to the Father. God’s ultimate plan of redeeming man so that there might be perfect fellowship and a lasting covenant has been completed. Next week we shall see how our New Testament worship has been affected by Jesus fulfillment of the covenant. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you always. Amen. Sermon Evaluation for Psalm 122:1 The title of the sermon was: List one statement of the Law you heard.

List one statement of the Gospel that you heard.


What was something new that you learned about God?

What did you discover about yourself in listening to this sermon?

What new information about Temple worship did you find interesting?

How did your pastor tie together Temple worship to the way that you worship today?

On a scale of 1-5, how would you rate this sermon for helping you understand how God related to people through their worship in the Temple? 1 Poor 2 difficult to understand 3 average 4 good 5 excellent

Apendix 3 Unit 3--Worship following the Death and Resurrection of Jesus
The following worksheet served as a guideline for discussion in the Seventh Grade Confirmation Class concerning the development of worship practices following the Temple Era. A test is included as an evaluative tool towards assessing their growth in knowledge regarding worship during the Temple Era. The goal of the exercise is to show how God Bridges the gap which sin created between God and man through the suffering and death of Jesus. It is here that the Temple curtain is torn and the boundaries are lifted. 133

Unit 3: Lutheran Worship Worksheet 1. We enter the church through the _Narthex_. 2. The Ark and the Castle are symbols for the ____Church___. 3. The ____Lectern______ is where the lessons are read from the Bible. 4. The _____Pulpit_______ is where God’s Word is preached. 5. Stepping up into the _____Altar______ area reminds us of the mountains where God revealed Himself to His people 6. The ___Baptismal ______ ____Font____ is eight sided which is the symbol for _____Jesus’s______ ___Ressurrection____. 7. The three mountains pictured on the windows behind our Altar are: a._____Sinaii________ ___________ 134

b._____Transfiguration______________ c._____Calvary____________________ 8. The ___Christ___ worship. ____Candle____ is the first candle we light when we assemble for

9. The three disciples at the bottom of the center window are __Peter____, ___James______, and ____John_____. 10.The guy holding the Bible in the large right window is ___Martin Luther______.

On the diagram below fill in the blanks with the appropriate parts of the church. [Word Bank] Nave, altar, pulpit, narthex, chancel, lectern, font, Christ Candle, sacristy, candle stands, sacrament, offering.


Now go back and label each item that was used in the Old Testament Tabernacle with an asterisk “*” and each item that was used in the temple with “T”

(You may use your hymnals to answer the following questions)

Name____________________ Worship Test for Unit 3

1. Invocation- __In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.___ 2. The Invocation reminds us of our __baptism __. 3. Confession - _I__ __am___ _A__ ___sinner__. 4. Kyrie - __Lord___ _Have_______ __Mercy__ Cried out to a king bearing gifts. 5. The Gloria - _____glory be to God on high _______ _of_ ____Jesus______. It remembers the __Birth_____

6. The Salutation - ___the Lord be with you _____ remembers the ___Angels_____ greeting to the shepherds. 7. The Old Testament Lesson helps the church to reflect upon what the ___prophets_____ said about the Messiah and is paired with the ___Gospel_Reading___. 136

8. The Gradual contains a short portion of a ___Psalm_____ which reflects the season of the year and is often _sung____ by the pastor or the choir. 9. The Epistle is a___New____ __Testament __lesson usually taken from the letters of __Paul___ and instructs the people how to put the Gospel into practice in our daily lives 10. The Gospel contains the words of ____Jesus ___. We __stand _ for its reading proclaiming the Lord’s presence in our midst. 11. The Creeds that we use remind us that the Lutheran Church has not departed from the faith of the most ancient church. The three creeds are: (Place a star next to the one we use at communion services. a._____ apostles ________________ * B.______ Nicene ________________ C.______ Athanasian ____________ 12. The Hymn of the Day reflects the __theme _____ of the day or season and is the chief hymn in the worship service. It often speaks of the life of Jesus. 13. The Sermon brings together the ___words____ and ___actions____ of Jesus. By the use of ___Law___ and ____Gospel____ and bridges the gap between the service of the Word and the service of the Sacrament. 14. The Offering is our response toward Jesus victory won for us on the ___cross ______. In joy we bring to Him our first fruits. 15. The General Prayer is a response to __the sermon ______ and enables us to show our love for those who have special need of God’s healing or blessing. 16. The Preface is found in the Bible in__1 Timothy 4:22, Colossians 3:1, Psalm 136_____ and is taken from the ancient Christian liturgies where we lift up our hearts in joyful thanks to God for all His gifts especially the gifts of forgiveness and Salvation sealed to us in the body and blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 17. The Sanctus - taken from __Isaiah 6:3, Matt. 21:9__(Bible verse). Here we are joined together with all the saints in heaven as we praise God together saying _Holy,___ __Holy,___ _Holy___. The last phrase of the Sanctus was used in the Palm Sunday greeting and is found in __ Matthew 21:9___ (Bible verse) which means, “God save us.” 18. The Prayer of Thanksgiving - Before distributing His body and blood our Lord gave thanks. So the pastor offers a brief prayer of thanksgiving asking the _Holy______ __Spirit_______ to give us true faith to receive these gifts joyfully.


19. The Consecration - the pastor now _Sets____ __Apart_____ the bread and wine for their special use by repeating the words Jesus first spoke over them at the Last Supper. 20. The _Pax Domini____ is the greeting our risen Lord uses with his disciples when He first meets them. 21. The Agnus Dei - _Lamb____ _of__ __God____ the words that _John the Baptist______ used to identify the Savior to the world. With these words we are reminded that in the outward forms of bread and wine is joined our Lord Himself. 22. The Nunc Dimittis - _let__ _us__ _Now____ __Depart____. Simeon, having seen his Savior proclaims that He is now ready to depart in peace. We too having received Jesus most precious gift are ready to leave this world without fear. Our own eyes have seen the salvation which God has prepared. 23. The Benediction - _Numbers 6:24-26____(Bible verse) the pastor blesses us by saying a good word over us using the ancient blessing spoken by __Aaron_____ reminding us that the same God who led Israel into the promised land in the days of Moses is also our God who goes with us every day as he has promised. 24. The Closing Anthem - this song usually emphasizes the joy we have, having received _God’s_____ __Gifts______ and the responsibility we have to live and share _Our___ __Faith______ in the world in which we live. The following was placed in the worship folder for use by the congregation of St. Paul’s to prepare them for the third and final segment of their journey in worship. The information was gleaned from several hand outs whose source is unknown by the author as well as the authors own work. A sermon follows which highlights a new understanding of the temple and worship and provides for an overview of the continuity of worship through the ages for all of God’s people as expressed in the Divine Service.


Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany

February 8, 2009

AS WE GATHER You have come here to worship. You will soon have part in the most sublime act on earth. Christians come together because we know that God has called us to this assembly. We firmly believe that through His Holy Word and Sacraments our loving God will come to us and be with us and grant us faith, strength, and peace. When a person enters into the church for worship, he/she leaves the world behind. For those moments he/she is brought into the presence of God and God steps into time to bring His blessings to the worshiper. The Lutheran Church uses a formal worship structure not because it is the only way to worship but because we believe that this ancient and proven manner of worship connects us to the whole church. It brings together the past, present and future assemblies of the community of believers to provide a unified, faithful, beautiful, vital, and significant worship experience. There is great comfort in knowing that we are doing and saying many of the same things Jesus said and did when He worshiped His Father while on earth. We share a history. Our liturgy connects us to Jesus and the timeless truths told and retold throughout history concerning the covenant promises God made with man and His ultimate fulfillment of those promises in the life, death, and resurrection of His Son. You will notice during the service that the Pastor will change position frequently. There is a definite reason for this. When he faces us, this indicates that he is God’s spokesman and that through him God is speaking to us. When God addresses us, this 139

is a “sacramental” portion of the service. When the pastor joins us in facing the altar, this is the “sacrificial” part of the service. Our service, or liturgy, is packed with drama and vitality. It has stood the test of many centuries of constant use. Many of its sections use words directly from the Bible. By reverent and intelligent use of this order of service we can draw near to God with our praise and our prayers and we can receive from Him the blessings of forgiveness and His own strengthening presence. Welcome to God’s house! He has called you and has been expecting you. He is anxious to bless you with His gifts. Let us join with all the company of heaven and bring him all our praise and honor this day. GREETING AND ANNOUNCEMENTS +PREPARATION+ WELCOME We are ready for worship. The organist will play one or several organ works beginning several minutes before the actual Worship Service. Known as a PRELUDE, the music helps to set the tone for our worship and to cultivate the proper mood and attitude for worship. The organist will play through the first hymn to establish the proper tempo and set the mood. With your Hymnal open to the first number on the hymn board, you can carefully listen and follow the melody. Doing this makes for more beautiful and meaningful music. PRELUDE CALL TO WORSHIP Ringing of the Bell

OPENING HYMN LSB 530 “No Temple Now, No Gift of Price” Following the Opening Hymn, the Order of Worship continues on page 184. We always begin our worship with the TRINITARIAN INVOCATION, spoken for us the Pastor. By this we give testimony that we worship the true God, the God of the Bible. By this, too, we invoke the power and presence of God, for God’s Name is power. INVOCATION

Then we prepare ourselves for the worship to come by the CONFESSION AND ABSOLUTION. Moses was told to take off his shoes because he was standing on holy ground in the presence of the Lord. Even so, we must cast away our sins to stand in the presence of God, as the Psalmist reminds us, “Who shall stand in the His Holy Place? He that hath clean hands and a pure heart.” Since we are sinful men, even as Christians, we begin by coming in penitence and faith to confess our sins, as the New Testament says, “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Having confessed, we hear the Pastor, as God’s 140

representative, speaking to us the words of comfort and forgiveness through our Savior, Jesus Christ. CONFESSION AND ABSOLUTION

Now we are prepared to enter into the Holy Place of God’s presence, and that is what we do in the next part of the Service, for the word INTROIT means “he enters.” In our Church the pastor “enters” the sanctuary behind the rail at this time. The “INTROIT” is usually taken from the Psalms and is especially selected to lift our hearts to worship. You will notice in your hymnal that the INTROIT shall be said or chanted. In our church the Psalms, which were the hymns of the Old Testament church, it is fitting that the INTROIT be chanted or sung. INTROIT Psalm 84

The GLORIA PATRI, or “Glory Be to the Father”, is always included in the Introit because we want to remind ourselves that all of the Old Testament is understood by us in the light of the New Testament – of the Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. GLORIA PATRI

Having begun our worship proper with the Introit and Gloria Patri, we now continue with a heartfelt prayer for mercy. The KYRIE ELEISON, which means “Lord, have mercy”, is not a confession of sins but an expression of our emptiness without God and of our need to have Him come and fill us with His Grace. This threefold prayer has been used church since at least the 3rd century. It gathers together all our needs and lays them before the mercy seat of God.


The response to the “Lord, have mercy “is the “Glory Be to God on High”, or GLORIA IN EXCELSIS. The Lord has had mercy upon us – He sent His Son to meet our need, and this is announced in the song the angels sang over Bethlehem’s fields: “Glory be to God on high, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” This ancient and incomparable hymn of praise spells out the whole plan of salvation to us. In it we praise God for sending His Son, “that takes away the sin of the world” and Who is now “most high in the glory of God the Father.” May our hearts and voices respond to swell the chorus of the saints through the ages as we praise God for His unspeakable gifts! GLORIA IN EXCELSIS

Following our act of praise in the Gloria in Excelsis, the Pastor now turns and greets the people with the words of the angel, when he announced to Mary that she was to become the mother of our Lord – the SALUTATION. The Pastor says, “The Lord be with you,” praying that the Holy Spirit may bless the congregation as they offer their 141

petitions to God and give attendance to His Word. The congregation answers, “And with Thy Spirit,” invoking upon the Pastor the same Holy Spirit that he might give voice to the heart-felt petitions of the people and preach God’s Word with power. SALUTATION

The COLLECT is a short prayer which follows the Salutation. It is usually one sentence which gathers or “collects” the thoughts and prayers of the entire church as they apply to the theme for this day. The COLLECTS which we use are some of the oldest and finest prayers which the church has.


At this point we have reached a climax in our worship. Up to now we have been speaking to God, presenting ourselves, our needs, and our hopes before the throne of grace. Now God speaks to us. He will reveal Himself and His will in a special way – in the reading and preaching of His Word. God has made Himself known to us in the Bible; He speaks to us today through these words of Scripture. This is the source of what we believe and teach. Without the Word of God our worship, as well as our faith, would wither and die. We first consider the promises of God as revealed in the Old Testament. THE SERVICE OF THE WORD OLD TESTAMENT Isaiah 6:1-7 Bible scholars through the years have developed a number of series of Bible readings for the church year. A three-year lectionary series is now being used in our church, which offers Bible study opportunities for treating larger units and entire books in their historical setting and sequence, but at the same adhering to the traditional church year. By varying the readings from year to year, we give our people an opportunity to hear different portions of the Bible being read.

God next speaks to us in the EPISTLE, a selection usually from one of the New Testament letters. Here we receive instruction in living the Christian life. According to ancient custom in the church, we sit during such periods of instruction. EPISTLE Hebrews 9:11-15

The EPISTLE is followed by another song taken from the Psalms, called the GRADUAL. It is a gradation, or transition, from the Epistle to the thought of the Gospel. The HALLELUJAH, which means “Praise the Lord,” is a part of the GRADUAL. It is a cry of 142

rejoicing that we are allowed to be so near to our Lord. Because of the penitential nature of the season, the Hallelujahs are omitted during the Advent (December) and Lenten (February and March) seasons. The GRADUAL, like the Introit, may be sung or spoken. GRADUAL LSB 905 “Come, Thou Almighty King” At some point in this part of the service, the CHOIR may sing a fitting choral selection. The music and particularly the words are carefully chosen to lead us in worship and to fit with the theme for the day. The Lutheran Church has one of the richest of heritages in music among all Christians and finds great joy in to God through the medium of music. ANTHEM “Sing with All the Saints in Glory” Choir

The HOLY GOSPEL itself is announced, the congregation rises as a mark of special honor to Jesus Christ, our Lord, whose life and words we are about to hear. This is indeed a time for the deepest reverence and the sharpest attention, as we sing, “Glory be to Thee, O Lord,” and stand ready to hear His Words and act on His commands. The commemorating. We respond to the hearing of the HOLY GOSPEL with the outburst of joy, “Praise be to Thee, O Christ!” (Today the Third Lesson will be substituted for the Gospel.) HOLY GOSPEL (THE THIRD LESSON) Revelation 5:1-14 We have heard God’s Word to us, and we respond now by confessing our faith through the CREED. In the Service without Communion, the APOSTLES’ CREED is used. On Trinity Sunday, the ANTHANASIAN CREED is used because of its Trinitarian content. By the use of the CREED, we show that the seed of the Word has fallen on good soil and that we have rightly heard and understood not only today’s readings but all of them through the year, which can be summed up in this statement of faith. THE HYMN OF THE DAY The hymn of the day is closely tied to the theme of the sermon and often to the Gospel itself. It sets the mood for what is to follow: the proclamation of God’s Holy Word. God’s Word is active in our hearts whenever we sing it, hear it, pray it, study it, or live it. Our hearts and minds are then drawn to what God will speak through the preaching of the Word. The SERMON is not just a number of offhand remarks, but a prayerfully prepared proclamation of God’s message of repentance, salvation, and growth in the faith. In this message, the Word of the Living God reaches His people to cause repentance and to generate true and renewed faith in the Gospel – God’s gracious promise of the forgiveness of sins through the Cross and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. THE SERMON “Worship in the New Temple” 143

1 Corinthians 3:16-17 Following the Sermon, we join in singing the OFFERTORY sentences, using David’s words of repentance from Psalm 51. Here we confess our humble and grateful acceptance in thanksgiving to the Lord. Immediately after the OFFERTORY, we who have been purified and strengthened bring our sacrifices and OFFERINGS to God’s altar. These gifts can be meaningful only if we recognize them as tokens of our entire selves, our whole lives, given in worship and service to our Lord. THE OFFERING The Gifts are presented at the altar. This reminds us that the sanctified Christian, through the action of God’s Holy Spirit, continually gives himself up to God, as God comes into him to live in his heart. During the gathering of the OFFERING, the congregation either sings a Hymn of Response to the message of the Sermon or the organist plays a selection of music carefully chosen to guide us in meditation on our worship for the day. Often the music is based on one of the hymns sung in the Service or on a hymn that fits the day’s worship. When we use this time for meditation, this too is worship.

At this point in the service after the OFFERINGS have been brought to the Lord’s altar, the Pastor speaks the PRAYERS for the day which gather up all the needs of God’s people. These PRAYERS are based on the theme for the day and often reflect requests that are a response to the Scripture lessons and the Sermon. SPECIAL INTERCESSIONS for members of the congregation are also included very often as we intercede before God’s throne of grace for our fellow members. The high point of the service comes as we approach God’s altar to receive the Body and the blood of His Son, Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins. Here we meet our Redeemer face to face and receive His gifts of forgiveness, eternal life and salvation so that we might be equipped for life here and the life to come. DISTRIBUTION DISTRIBUTION HYMNS (8:30) LSB 624 “An Infant Priest Was Holy Born” LSB 901 “Open Now Thy Gates of Beauty” Following the Distribution, the congregation now rises to sing the NUNC DIMITTIS, “Lord, now lettest Thou thy servant depart in peace.” This was Simeon’s song of rejoicing in the temple as he held the infant Jesus in His arms. Our eyes too have seen God too have seen God’s salvation, for we have received Christ through His Word and Sacrament. Like Simeon, we are now ready to “depart in peace.” NUNC DIMITTIS After the glorious climax of the Sacrament our Service now hastens to its close. We offer our joyous and prayerful thanks to God in the PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING. 144

Here we specifically thank God for the great blessings received through the Sacrament: Like Simeon, we are now ready to “depart in peace.” PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING Then we await the final BENEDICTION to send us on our homeward way. With the BENEDICTION of God, used in the church since the days of Moses, the Pastor closes the Service. The last word that we hear from his lips is “peace.” With the sign of the cross He then reminds us that all of this is ours through the cross and merits of Jesus Christ, our Lord, in whom we trust and for whom we live. BENEDICTION A CLOSING HYMN VERSE is often used as a summary of the entire Worship Service and as a statement of our joyful response to all we have heard from God’s Word. HYMN TO DEPART LSB 670 “Ye Watchers and Ye Holy Ones”

CLOSING CHORALE He is Lord! He is Lord! He is risen from the dead and He is Lord! Every knee shall bow, every tongue confess That Jesus Christ is Lord!

After a moment of silent prayer we leave the church, refreshed and strengthened to take up again the tasks of our God-given vocation in life.

This, then, is the Lutheran Liturgy. It is our way of praising and serving God in worship so that all the world may see and know that He is our god. May He bless its use for you and all who would “Serve the Lord with gladness”. 0


“Worship in the New Temple” 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 Introduction: Listen carefully! (Bang a large nail with a hammer and tear a piece of cloth.) These two sounds changed the way the church worshiped forever. When the debt of atonement is paid we are brought back to full fellowship with God again. We are now joined intimately to God. There are no barriers, no go-between’s, no more mediation necessary. We are brought to the holy of holies and commune with our God! No further sacrifice will ever be warranted. No more shedding of blood. The supreme price has been paid. The great exchange has taken place. Jesus took upon himself our sinfulness and placed upon us by faith his holiness. Now we may stand directly before our Heavenly Father for we have been cleansed and made holy priests of God.



The old pattern of worship is no longer adequate. A. No temple barriers to hold us back. 1. No sacrificial substitutes needed. 2. B. Jesus life, death, and resurrection changed all that.

We are now able to come directly into the presence of almighty God and fellowship with him. 1. We are holy by faith in Jesus 2. Therefore we belong before God serving him with our worship!


The Temple as a structure no longer remains. A. What takes its place? 1. You do! 2. B. You are God’s temple and the spirit of Christ dwells in you.

Worship therefore is done in daily living 1. We come into God’s presence to receive His gifts that we may respond in worship the rest of the week as we live out our faith. 2. This culminates our historical worship by tying us to the past with the present. What we do here is a culmination of all that has been done in the past.


We worship now in preparation for what is to come A. Our liturgy prepares us for the heavenly assembly 1. We kneel–the kingdom of heaven kneels 2. B. We sing–the kingdom of heaven sings

Our voices join with the heavenly voices 1. With angels and arch angels, and with all the company of heaven... 2. Have your lives been patterned around your worship? If your worship is not edifying, it may be because you are not cherishing the gifts God has given you as the supply for daily living.

Conclusion: We don’t need a change in our worship– God is present with His gifts. What more could we ask for? The change we may need is in ourselves. Lord, Open Thou our hearts to hear!


0Sermon Evaluation for 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 The Title of the Sermon was: List one statement of Law that you heard.

List one statement of Gospel that you heard.

What was something new that you learned about God?


What did you discover about yourself in listening to this sermon?

What new information about worship did you find interesting?

How did your pastor tie together worship from the past with your worship today?

As a result of this 3 part series, have you developed a greater appreciation for what you do when you worship and why you are doing it? How or why?

On a scale of 1-5, how would you rate this sermon for helping you to understand how your worship is closely connected to the worship of the ages? 1 2 3 4 5 Poor difficult to understand Average Good Excellent Do you feel this project was helpful to St. Paul’s as we discuss the worship issues we are facing today? Why or why not?


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