The History Theology And Practice Of Christian Worship - Part 7
Our study of the history, theology and practice of Christian worship has been a great boon for all, including the teacher. But the whole congregation benefits in that the storehouse of knowledge and understanding of our faith and worship is increased. Like a healthy bank account it sees us through lean times.
We should understand that Liturgy is nothing other than Scripture, and Scripture is Liturgy. The home of Scripture is the church. That said, please understand that "church" in the New Testament does not mean the membership rolls, or the organizational flow chart. But the baptized assembled for Eucharistic worship. That is the home of Scripture. All other usages are derivative be they home, school, personal devotions etc.
Bibles are as plenteous than the stars in the sky. Indeed, the Bible is the world's best selling book, bar none (followed by Shakespeare; followed by Agatha Christie). This means, or used to mean at any rate, that the levels of biblical literacy were high. That can only be good. But on the flip side it also means that people feel free to forsake the assembly, and act as their own church. Which of course is impossible, to say nothing of destructive to Christian faith.
But back to the point Scripture is the church's book. It is given by God to be used in the church, by the church and for the church. It permeates our prayers, creeds, sermons, hymns, sacraments, versicles and responses, and besides that is read aloud verbatim, following the church's lectionary.
As a result divine words wash over us. They cover our bodies, they leave their aroma on our clothes, and entering our ears they work their way into the very fibers of our being, so that we can truly be "like God." Not by disobeying him as Satan convinced our first parents, but by hearing his holy Words, believing them, and conforming our thoughts, words and deeds to them.
That's all for the moment, but if we follow the pattern of the last few weeks, you can expect a Post Script further reporting what happened in the class. It is my prayer that by reading these summaries, that our members will be cured of their spiritual anorexia, and desire to feast on the Bread of Life. That they will heed what we teach in our catechism: "We should fear and love God so that we do not despise preaching and his Word, but hold it sacred, and gladly hear and learn it."
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