The History Theology And Practice Of Christian Worship - Part 8
Today we continue our discussion on the reading of Scripture in the church. We don't do it simply as a matter of form, but because to read aloud, and to hear Holy Scripture constitutes Christian worship. It is an act of worship of our God. Consider:
"The one who hears you hears me, and the one who rejects you rejects me, and the one who rejects me rejects him who sent me." (Luke 10:16)
"And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is my Son, my Chosen One; listen to him!" Luke 9:35
"But now even more the report about him went abroad, and great crowds gathered to hear him and to be healed of their infirmities." Luke 5:15
"Blessed are they who read the words of this prophecy, and they who hear it." Rev. 1:3
If you want God's blessing then come to hear his word. The church is it's natural home, Starbucks is not. You can read the Bible at Starbucks if you like, but it's like drinking fine wine from a styrofoam cup.
If your ears work well you are better off to listen to the readings, rather than follow them along on the printed sheet. Allow yourself to be ministered to.
TLH liturgy calls for 2 lessons, Epistle and Gospel. But in the early 1970's when the winds of liturgical renewal were blowing people immediately realized how much the church was missing without an Old Testament lesson. It was added, and is now part of the church's current hymnal, the LSB.
The lessons, however, were never read without ceremony, thus the Gradual and Alleluia Verse. These consist of Psalms, and bespeak an earlier time in the church's life when the readings were glorified with many psalms, not just a few verses as we have today. None the less liturgy changes over time, and we have what we have, and thank God for it.
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