On Sunday Morning, Do We Not Hear Christ’s Cry, Do We Know Hear the Father’s Desire?

Devotional Thought of the Day:
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50  Don’t you realize that it is better for you to have one man die for the people, instead of having the whole nation destroyed?” 51  Actually, he did not say this of his own accord; rather, as he was High Priest that year, he was prophesying that Jesus was going to die for the Jewish people, 52  and not only for them, but also to bring together into one body all the scattered people of GodJohn 11:50-52 (TEV) 

906      That cry of the Son of God, lamenting that the harvest is plentiful but the labourers are few, is always relevant. How it tears at our heartstrings. That cry came from Christ’s mouth for you to hear too. How have you responded to it up to now? Do you pray at least daily for that intention?  (1)

A few weeks ago, as I answered the call to provide the invocation at my city’s Martin Luther King day celebration, I thought of the charge laid against the church in the 80’s, which may be still true today.  It noted that Sunday morning was the most segregated time in a church’s week.  With few exceptions, (my Concordia is close to being one ) churches in our country are primarily ethnocentric. It is true, unfortunately, that churches, even the most missional ones, are this way. My own denomination’s national magazine recently had our president lamenting that a district hadn’t planted a church in a predominantly Anglo community in fifteen years.

While this may be an issue of passivity and comfort, there is something that is even more staggering.  A move to isolate the church on Sunday from the world. A pendulum swing reaction from the Seeker-sensitivity of the 80’s and 90’s, that is claiming that Sunday Morning worship services are for believers only.  That we have to return deliberately to encoding everything in practices and languages that a unbeliever would not be able to comprehend. This is what is faithful, we are told, to use words like salutary, or beseech, to strive for an ethereal and beautiful service, but one that our own people struggle to value.

Let me be clear, I am in no way advocating the abandonment of the liturgy. if anything, I think word and sacrament order should be made more available.  

But I am saying we need to hear the Father’s desire that all come to the transformation of repentance. We do need to pray for the work, even the work on Sunday morning!  We all need to realize that the harvest doesn’t pause for a station break on Sunday morning as we, the holy people’ recharge.  Evangelism happens as well as a couple chooses to move from their comfortable place, to sit with those visitors and make them comfortable, and explain the service movements.  Harvest work should be seen throughout every aspect of the service. Our spiritual homes must be places of hospitality to all.  That has always been true, even at Solomon’s temple, and at the tabernacle.

The idea that Sunday is only about those who are members of the church is as ludicrous as those who say it should only be about seekers.  Both ignore the fact that Christ would die for those who are already in covenant with God, as much as He died to bring the nations into that covenant.  For all to know that He is God, and we are His people. 

Worship wars, liturgy wars, wars about what is beneficial or not cease, as do the flurry of articles bashing contemporary worship liturgy, as well as that bashing traditionalism, have no place. They do stop when we focus on God’s desire to call all His people, to gather them together as one.  (this includes those that don’t know… yet!)  As we pray that, God would send more workers into the harvest fields, so these battles diminish.  I pray we realize that the harvest is great, not just in Turkey and Ghana, but also in our own sanctuaries.

May our worship teach anyone there what they need to know about Christ – His presence, His mercy, his faithful love…

AMEN

(1)  Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). The Forge (Kindle Locations 3202-3204). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.(1(

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 February 4, 2015, in Augsburg and Trent, Devotions, Poiema and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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