Wednesday, May 16, 2012

I wish we thought about it more...

When I teach adult catechism classes, I have noticed that these new people are often far more attentive to what is said and done in the liturgy than the old time Lutherans they sit with in the pews.  I have been asked on many occasions "what did you say last Sunday?" or "what were you doing at the altar?" or "what does this mean?"  It is a grand thing to know that so many are paying full attention to what is said and done.  I am not complaining.  I understand fully the rigors of keeping three children in some sort of balanced chaos during the liturgy -- especially so you do not disturb folks around you.  I understand fully the chronic pain that keeps some from sitting or standing without feeling the cost of their participation.  It is just that the more we allow these distractions to steal away the attention of our hearts and minds, the less we appreciate of the marvel of the Divine Service with its focus upon the Word and Table of the Lord and the gracious gifts given to us there.  I have often said that the biggest enemy of worship is me -- of what a difficult labor to turn my attention off myself for even 70 minutes or so and keep it focused upon the gracious and gentle Lord who comes among us with grace, favor, forgiveness, and life.

Someone sent me this video that asks a pertinent question -- are we robots or really attentive to the mystery of the faith that is embodied in that creed (a mystery prayed as well as proclaimed)...  I think you might like it...


6 comments:

Barb Holtz said...

You really have a gift of writing and getting to the "heart" of it. I am enjoying your blog very much! Barb Holtz

Janis Williams said...

Amen. The word we say at the end of a prayer. The word we say at the end of the creed.

Anonymous said...

This is why our pastor has chopped up the liturgy and does creative worship with a program every Sunday. He says it becomes rote. I feel that I'm cheated without the full liturgy and I KNOW my children are being cheated by not learning it by heart from hearing it every Sunday.

Anonymous said...

This is why our pastor has chopped up the liturgy and does creative worship with a program every Sunday. He says it becomes rote. I feel that I'm cheated without the full liturgy and I KNOW my children are being cheated by not learning it by heart from hearing it every Sunday.

Pastor Peters said...

The solution to the problem of repeating the creed without much thought is NOT abandoning the creed (or the liturgy). The solution is for the people to pay attention to the words they sing, pray, speak, and confess -- and to be encouraged to do so regularly so that our minds and our mouths are on the same page. Knowing by memory what we confess and speak and sing is a good thing. You can be just as guilty ignoring the content with words that are written new each as you are with the age old words of the liturgy and creeds. Novelty is no solution but brings with its own set of problems -- worse in my view. This is merely a call to think about what we say for the words have meaning and power.

Anonymous said...

Each child in the classroom is assigned a random bible verse. Each verse is a sentence or two lifted from a chapter and thus made devoid of context. Requiring that children memorize random bible verses is cruel and unusual punishment. As a child in an LCMS grade school, I hated every minute of it.

Repeating without much thought, indeed!