Friday, May 29, 2015

June 2015

A few weeks ago Stephanie and I had free tickets to the Rockies/Dodgers game. Some friends of ours came across these tickets and invited us to go. Unfortunately we were unable to make it because our kids were quite sick. So for their sake, and for the sake of the babysitter's health, we stayed home. That night as I was perusing Facebook, our dear friends posted pictures from their seats... four rows off the field... behind home plate! For you non-baseball fans, that means they had the best seats in the house! Needless to say, I pouted a great deal.

I love going to baseball games. I love how I am taken out of the hustle and bustle of my every-day
routine and brought into an entirely different rhythm of life. The sights of the players performing super-human athletic feats (you try hitting a 95mph fastball); the sound of the bat hitting the ball or the snap of catcher's mitt on a strike three call; the smell of the grass; the adding of my voice to a chant or song sung by thousands of fans; even the collective frustration felt by all as your team has a poor inning, gives up an error, or, heaven forbid, loses the game. It's root, root, root for the home team! If they don't win, it's a shame. Yes, a shame we all suffer together as a collective fan base (a feeling we Rockies fans know all too well). To be sure, as a fan you are invited to participate in the rhythm of the action by cheering, booing, heckling the players, standing and singing during the seventh inning stretch, and so on, but the main action is on the field. No matter how much you pay for a beer or stand-up and cheer, as a fan you always get more out of the game
than you give.

I am becoming more and more convinced that this is the beauty we experience in the liturgy of our Sunday morning worship services. When we come to church, we receive far more than we give. I was reminded of the rhythm of worship this last week when I was pointed to these words from introduction to Lutheran Worship, i.e., the old blue hymnal:

"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 has said to us, we repeat what is most true a sure. Most true and sure is his name, which he put upon us with the water of our Baptism. We are his. This we acknowledge at the beginning of the Divine Service. Where his name is, there is he. Before him we acknowledge that we are sinners, and we plead for forgiveness. His forgiveness is given us, and we, freed and forgiven, acclaim him as our great and gracious God as we apply to ourselves the words he has used to make himself known to us.

The rhythm of our worship is from him to us, and then from us back to him."

When you come to church, you are brought into an entirely new rhythm of life given by Christ. One where you watch and receive, sing and give thanks. You take and you eat and you sing and you pray. Church is a time infiltrated by the Gospel that sets you free from the rest of our lives which are so marked by the law of demand and expectation. This is a time where our Lord gives us gifts of forgiveness and rest; words of love and mercy. To be sure, we respond with thanks and praise, but what else can we do? When we come to church, we receive from God far more than we could ever give. What a blessing that is!

Pastor Bob

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Faith Lutheran Church • 123 Park Lane • Moorpark, CA 93021 • (805) 532 1049 • Send Email