Get’Erdone and Gotterdienst – the Church and the Work of God

devotional thought of the day (or technically tomorrow for some of you- since I am already there!)
If you are familiar with redneck comedy, or  Vicar Mark, those words should sound familiar.

Maybe it is because of lieing awake at 3 am that this comes to mind – after 24 plus hours in planes, airport terminals – losing a day and finding myself feeling somewhat alone in a city of 12 million.

But I can’t hear get’erdone without thinking of it’s German relative Gotterdienst. Which translates (or so I’ve been told) as God’s work or God’s service.   (similar to the Latin Opus Dei)

WE talk about Gotterdienst as a name for the gathering when God’s people come together – and His work is done in their midst.  He brings mercy and peace to them as He gives them the ability to trust and repentance.  We are transformed in His presence, and begin to serve Him – with our praises, with our words, with our lives.

It is all His work, really – even as He works through us – preparing us for the day when we are all before His throne – as we celebrate the wedding feast of the lamb.

I love how St Paul describes this work in Ephesians

Ephesians 5:25ff (Phillips NT) 25 But, remember, this means that the husband must give his wife the same sort of love that Christ gave to the Church, when he sacrificed himself for her. Christ gave himself to make her holy, having cleansed her through the baptism of his Word – to make her an altogether glorious Church in his eyes. She is to be free from spots, wrinkles or any other disfigurement – a Church holy and perfect. 28 Men ought to give their wives the love they naturally have for their own bodies. The love a man gives his wife is the extending of his love for himself to enfold her. Nobody ever hates or neglects his own body; he feeds and looks after it. And that is what Christ does for his body, the Church. And we are all members of that body, we are his flesh and blood! ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’. The marriage relationship is doubtless a great mystery, but I am speaking of something deeper still – the marriage of Christ and his Church. 

Such is truly a beautiful thing – this work of Christ which makes us, His church, His people – glorious in His eyes.  Perhaps that is why St Paul also wrote

Ephesians 2:8-10 (NJB) 8 Because it is by grace that you have been saved, through faith; not by anything of your own, but by a gift from God; 9 not by anything that you have done, so that nobody can claim the credit. 10 We are God’s work of art, created in Christ Jesus for the good works which God has already designated to make up our way of life.

In other words – God is at work – truly – He is ministering to us – and if the church the the “er” in the get’erdone – then Gottesdienst means pretty much the same thing.

Rejoice my friends, for God is at work, in you…… and with Paul, I can confidently say:

Philippians 1:6 (NJB) 6 I am quite confident that the One who began a good work in you will go on completing it until the Day of Jesus Christ comes.

Godspeed – from tomorrow!

About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God's saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

Posted on January 17, 2013, in Devotions and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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