And the people believed; and when they heard that the Lord had visited the people of Israel and that he had seen their affliction, they bowed their heads and worshiped.
This series of devotions on worship and what it is that do when we “do” church comes to an end.
If you would like to read the previous devotions in this series on the classical liturgy, you can find them through the links below:
Part 1 – Hymnody
Part 2 – Invocation
Part 3 – Baptism
Part 4 – Confession of Sins
Part 5 – Absolution
Part 6 – Introit / Psalmody
Part 7 – Kyrie
Part 8 – Hymn of Praise
Part 9 – Scripture Readings
Part 10 – Sermon
Part 11 – Confession of Faith
Part 12 – Offering
Part 13 – Offertory
Part 14 – Prayer
Part 15 – “Our Father”
Part 16 – “Hallowed Be Thy Name”
Part 17 – “Thy Kingdom Come”
Part 18 – “Daily Bread”
Part 19 – “Keep Us From Evil”
Part 20 – “Amen and Amen!”
Part 21 – Preface and Proper Preface
Part 22 – Sanctus
Part 23 – The Lord’s Supper
Part 24 – Agnus Dei
Part 25 – Nunc Dimittus
Part 26 – Benediction
As I look out over the pews of the sanctuary on a Saturday night or a Sunday morning, I look into the faces of the people who have come “to church.”
They are here to “worship.”
Some come to “to church” because they have been coming to church pretty much all their lives.
Some come to “worship” because their mom and dad, or their wife or husband, made them come.
Some come because they are looking for something to ease their grief.
Some come to pray that God would bring them hope and comfort.
There are many reasons that people come to church to worship.
This series of devotions has tried to tell you what actually happens in worship regardless of why anyone comes to church.
It has been said that:
“Worship is like no place else in this world. But there is one place that it does resemble, and that is heaven.”
Especially with the classical, traditional, liturgy, worship is a bit of “heaven on earth.”
In the liturgy, the entire life of Christ is seen and heard.
His birth – seen through the Hymn of Praise.
There are overlaps, to be sure, but you get a glimpse of the entire salvation event of Jesus Christ in the liturgy.
But more than just a history lesson, in the liturgical worship service, God actually comes to us through His means of grace – His Holy Word and Sacraments!
For the believer, worship is a connection to Christ in a real, tangible, even physical way that cannot be found anywhere else!
Worship is where heaven and earth meet, where both realms come together for a brief moment, giving us a foretaste of the great Feast to come that is our heavenly home!
There is a story told of how Christianity came to Russia.
The Grand Duke of Kiev sent his emissaries to Constantinople after they had apparently visited both Rome and the middle east.
There they witnessed the liturgical worship in the Hagia Sophia cathedral.
They sent a report back to the Grand Duke saying that they found what they were looking for. In their report to their duke, the emissaries noted that in liturgical worship there was such solemn splendor that they had a hard time knowing whether they were in heaven or on earth.
That is what happens in worship. This is what happens when we “do church.”
We have one foot on earth, and one foot in heaven, and are in the hands of God Almighty Himself, through our Savior, Jesus Christ!