Here are descriptions of a few key aspects of our worship services:
The Bible is God’s Word to us. Primarily, it is where He reveals how we are saved – by His grace through His supplied faith in Jesus, the Savior of the world. Yet it also contains God’s will for our lives, Who God is, and what He has done for us. The Bible is where God promises to communicate with us. Most of our worship service – songs, lessons, responses, and messages – are based on the Bible.
Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. – Romans 10:17
Confession and Absolution
We admit that we haven’t been perfect through confession. We sin in our thoughts, words, and actions. Because of this we cannot ever be good enough to earn heaven. What we need, then, is a declaration of forgiveness, or His absolution. We need to be made right with God through Jesus. Because He died on the cross He won for us that needed forgiveness.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. – I John 1:9
It is natural for believers to declare what they believe. The Apostle’s Creed (ca 125 AD), summarizes the Apostle’s teachings while the Nicene Creed (ca 325 AD) gives a more in-depth teaching of the Christian faith. These are public declarations of what the Bible and Hope teaches and what a Christian believes. In addition to the Creeds, we also utilize Luther’s Catechism. It was written by Martin Luther for family training. It is included in the Book of Concord as an authoritative statement of what Lutherans believe.
“Everyone who confesses me before others, I will also confess before my Father who is in heaven. – Matthew 10:32
God has promised to hear us whenever we pray. Praying is talking to God. We call upon His almighty power to help us in any and every need. The Lord’s Prayer is the prayer Jesus taught His disciples when they asked Him to “teach us how to pray.” It remains a model prayer.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. – Philippians 4:6
To develop a loving relationship with us sinners the Lord has chosen to use certain means, or tools, to reach our hearts. God uses His holy Word and Baptism to create faith and develop His relationship with all His children. The water isn’t special, but the power of Baptism lies in God’s promises and what He has declared Baptism to be.
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. – Mark 16:16
In addition, God also has a special tool to develop a deeper relationship with His children who have had the opportunity to mature in their faith. This tool is the Lord’s Supper. It is not the wine or bread that is special but the power of the Lord’s Supper lies in Jesus’ declaration of His body and blood in the bread and wine.
Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? – I Corinthians 10:16
Song and Music
Martin Luther said, “Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world.” In our worship, we are able to reflect on God’s Word and offer our prayers and praise to God through music and song. Our worship often includes canticles and hymns used by Christians throughout the centuries.
Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. – Colossians 3:16