No longer could the norm be page 5 and the Ante Communion with its abrupt end right where the Supper should be. No more could four times a year be both minimum and maximum. No more could we be faithful in the pulpit while the altar sat as ornament to what was missing and still feel like we were honoring our history and being true to our Lutheran Symbols. No one should be content to understand the Sacrament of the Lord's Body and Blood as mere added extra to an otherwise complete Service of the Word. No more could we look at rubrics and the Divine Service and say that we were being Lutheran in practice not to have the Sacrament on the Lord's Day and whenever else there were people who desired to receive it.
With this came also a renewal of baptismal identity, the re-discovery of baptismal vocation, the renewal of the Word as the efficacious Word that does what it says and delivers that of which it speaks, the revival of private confession, and the restoration of the ministry as seelsorge and not simply preacher. It all became part of the one move to recover and re-establish within the people of God a fully Eucharistic piety, prayer life, and life of mercy and service.
Now here on Maundy Thursday (or Holy Thursday), we find ourselves face to face with what the Lord did on the night when He was betrayed and we must once again survey how we have kept what He has instituted. It is not enough to preserve in theory the Real Presence or to have proper and faithful awe of the gift. It is required of us that we must keep the gift, that this Holy Sacrament must be the beating heart and center of our life together as a people of Word AND Sacrament.
O Lord, in this wondrous Sacrament You have left us a remembrance of Your passion.If we would keep this wondrous Sacrament, then we must be prepared to have it continually manifest among us so that we may bear its fruits in our lives. In the end, it may well be that we have recovered more the easy part of this renewal -- you see more chasubles, hear more chanting, witness more frequent communion, etc... But we still have much work ahead of us to preach and teach the Sacrament as the beating heart of our common life as the baptized people of God, the source and summit of our spiritual lives, and the body of Christ receiving His Body to be that body. If for this reason only, the Lutheran liturgical movement continues and will not pause.
Grant that we may so receive the sacred mystery of Your body and blood that the fruits of Your redemption may continually be manifest in us; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
If we fail, we will have only restored ceremonies empty of meaning and still left our people with the suspicion that Lutherans are simply Evangelicals or others who happen to have a checkered liturgical history. Our Symbols insist that is not true but if we fail in our efforts to keep up the good work once begun in restoring a Eucharistic piety to our people, those words will testify only to what was and not to what is. In this we pray the Lord not to let us fail.
It is rather remarkable to study the hymnals of The LCMS and notice how the first and earliest hymnals simply assumed that the "Chief Divine Service" ... the Hauptgottesdienst...included Holy Communion, but by the time of TLH we had embraced this odd notion of a Divine Service without Communion (good old page 5).
Further, when people who know little of Lutheran worship heritage beyond TLH decry chanting, they are wholly ignorant that the very first words in the old hymnals, in German, make it very clear that "The pastor sings" ... and launches into the liturgy, assuming "chanting."
Ignorance is one thing, that can be corrected, but willful, stubborn ignorance is quite another thing.
"But that the communion was called "Eucharist" by the ancient fathers happened because the reception of the venerable Sacrament of the Altar was followed by a common thanksgiving of the church. For this ceremony was celebrated in the same way by the ancients as now is commonly done in our churches.
"But who cannot understand that this name, Eucharist, or Thanksgiving does not properly pertain to the Sacrament of the Altar? For in this fashion the meal of every Christian could be called "eucharist," since before and after eating he gives thanks to God the Lord for his benefits. And every common prayer and thanksgiving of the churches can rightly be called "eucharist," even when no distribution or giving of the sacrament occurs."
Christian Lauterwar, 1549
The Eucharist is not the source and summit of our faith. The source and summit of our faith is the Word of God, the proclaimed gospel of the forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation through our Savior, Jesus Christ. "Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned." (Mark 16:16). "Then they asked him, "What must we do to do the works God requires?" Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent." (John 6:28-9)
Luther notes that "do this in remembrance of me" means having faith in the forgiveness of sins through Christ's sacrifice on the cross.
"What is the benefit of such eating and drinking?
"That is shown us in these words: Given, and shed for you, for the remission of sins; namely, that in the Sacrament forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation are given us through these words. For where there is forgiveness of sins, there is also life and salvation.
"How can bodily eating and drinking do such great things?
"It is not the eating and drinking, indeed, that does them, but the words which stand here, namely: Given, and shed for you, for the remission of sins. Which words are, beside the bodily eating and drinking, as the chief thing in the Sacrament; and he that believes these words has what they say and express, namely, the forgiveness of sins."
"Because therefore it has been accepted as a practice in the Christian church, that in the public assemblies of the church after the preaching and hearing of the Word, this Sacrament is celebrated, therefore this custom must not be departed from without urgent necessity. ...it is...clear from Acts 20:7, 1 Cor. 11:20,33, that when the Christians did gather at one place, they were accustomed to celebrate the Eucharist."
Source: Martin Chemnitz, John Gerhard, and Polycarp Leyser,Harmonia Quatuor Evangelistarum(Frankfort and Hamburg, 1652), Vol. II, p. 1085; quoted in Kurt E. Marquart, The Church and Her Fellowship, Ministry, and Governance (corrected edition) (Fort Wayne, Indiana: The International Foundation for Lutheran Confessional Research, 1995), p. 200.
From C.F.W. Walther:
"The first Christians celebrated it almost daily; especially in times of persecution, in order to be daily ready for death. ... The Holy Supper was regarded as the most glorious divine Armory, in which one receives the most invincible weapons for the spiritual battle. ... The holy Supper with the body and blood of Jesus Christ is the new Tree of Life, which stood in Paradise, which Christ has now again planted in His kingdom of Grace. ... O adorable, comforting mystery! The holy flesh of God, which the angels adore and the archangels reverence, becomes a Food for sinners! Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad, but still more the believing soul, which enjoys such great gifts!"
144C. F. W. Walther, Gnadenjahr (Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1890), pp. 209 ff.; quoted in Kurt E. Marquart, “The Word As Life,” pp. 51-52.
"those are not true and faithful ministers of Christ who in any manner whatever lead or frighten people away from more frequent use and reception of the Eucharist. There are beautiful examples of frequent use of the Eucharist from the true antiquity. Some had the custom of receiving the Eucharist daily, some twice a week, some on the Lord’s day, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, some only on the Lord’s Day."
Martin Chemnitz, Examination of the Council of Trent, Part II, pp. 330-31.
Yep. Still not seeing "source and summit of faith."
"I believe that Jesus Christ, true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary, is my Lord, who has redeemed me, a lost and condemned creature, purchased and won [delivered] me from all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil, not with gold or silver, but with His holy, precious blood and with His innocent suffering and death, in order that I may be [wholly] His own, and live under Him in His kingdom, and serve Him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, even as He is risen from the dead, lives and reigns to all eternity. This is most certainly true.
"I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him; but the Holy Ghost has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith; even as He calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian Church on earth, and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith; in which Christian Church He forgives daily and richly all sins to me and all believers, and at the last day will raise up me and all the dead, and will give to me and to all believers in Christ everlasting life. This is most certainly true."
1. Lord, keep us steadfast in Thy Word;
Curb those who fain by craft and sword
Would wrest the Kingdom from Thy Son
And set at naught all He hath done.
2. Lord Jesus Christ, Thy power make known,
For Thou art Lord of lords alone;
Defend Thy Christendom that we
May evermore sing praise to Thee.
3. O Comforter of priceless worth.
Send peace and unity on earth.
Support us in our final strife
And lead us out of death to life.
Hymn 261 from _The Lutheran Hymnal_
Text: John 8: 31
Author: Martin Luther, 1541
Translated by: Catherine Winkworth, 1863
Titled: "Erhalt uns, Herr, bei deinem Wort"
Tune: "Erhalt uns, Herr"
1st Published in: _Geistliche Lieder_
Town: Wittenberg, 1543
Where there is the forgiveness of sins, there is also life and salvation.
Think about it.
Let me guess, you are probably the same type of person who opposes weekly offering of the Sacrament in our congregations and believe that TLH was the acme of Lutheran liturgical life.
Luther's communion hymn:
1 Jesus Christ, our blessed Savior,
Turned away God’s wrath forever;
By His bitter grief and woe
He saved us from the evil foe.
2 He, to pledge His love undying,
Spreads this table, grace supplying,
Gives His body with the bread,
And with the wine the blood He shed.
3 Banquet gifts God here is sharing;
Take them—after well preparing;
For if one does not believe,
Then death for life he shall receive.
4 Praise the Father, who from heaven
To His own this food has given,
Who, to mend what we have done,
Gave into death His only Son.
5 Firmly hold with faith unshaken
That this food is to be taken
By the sick who are distressed,
By hearts that long for peace and rest.
6 Agony and bitter labor
Were the cost of God’s high favor;
Do not come if you suppose
You need not Him who died and rose.
7 Christ says: “Come, all you that labor,
And received My grace and favor:
They that feel no want nor ill
Need no physician’s help nor skill.”
8 “For what purpose was My dying,
if not for your justifying?
And what use this precious food
if you yourself were pure and good?”
9 If your heart this truth professes
And your mouth your sin confesses,
You will be your Savior’s guest,
Be at His banquet truly blest.
10 Let this food your faith so nourish
That by love its fruit may flourish
And your neighbor learn from you
How much God’s wondrous love can do.
So Anonymous. . .
The Eucharist is not the source and summit of our faith. The source and summit of our faith is the Word of God, the proclaimed gospel of the forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation through our Savior, Jesus Christ.
What we eat and drink is not the Word, Christ, in bread and wine?
You people who pit Word against Sacrament are positively weird and are not Lutheran.
I smell Carl Vhese in all this....
"You people who pit Word against Sacrament are positively weird and are not Lutheran."
There is no pitting except by those who seek to make the Sacrament the source and summit of our faith. As if worship is not faith and praise of God in all times and places. It is a sort of crusade to supplant the Gospel and faith in the Word of God with the reception of Christ's body and blood as what true worship is all about.
If you think the Sacraments supplant the Gospel and faith in the Word of God, then your beef is with Jesus who instituted them and commanded them and attached His promise to them.
Exactly correct on the origin of our Lutheran Liturgical Renewal as a parish phenomenon. It was “Lutheran Forum” journal that made me aware that there were Lutherans who were “more Catholic” as I was called. I managed to get myself started as a liturgical, eucharistically centured, devout Deacon and then Pastor. At CUW there was another prof with Royal Natzke who was also a Roman Catholic as a child. He validated my zeal, and helped me be a bit more mature about my enthusiasm....even though I bought some amazing dalmatics at Gaspard in Milwaukee (when the garage sale was in their garage), brought them back to Tucson and heard “you are not wearing those here” from Eldon Weisheit, my Bishop. So I sold them to the Roman parish down the street. When called to my first parish as solo Pastor, I started Eucharist at every service, Eucharistic vestments, and Liturgy with a smile.
Now that Iam retired from those enthusiasm of the past 30 years, I am back to my beginnings, but even more casual....2 of 3 services are no vestments, no clerical, nothing. One has alb and stole, with communion rotating. The contemporary service inexplicably has communion each week, and we have Kip Fox as our contemporary music leader (and Kim Kramer as our liturgical arts guiro....she is amazing). Kip keeps the music Lutheran in content and has an excellent group of musicians. That has become our service each week.
Sigh....oh well. I keep mentioning that I should sell my chasubles, and then I get emails from guys in MN or ND who want to buy them. I guess I should never say never, but it is probably time.....kyrie eleison.....
Pastor Poedel, I would challenge you to speak to the "casual crowd" and try to find out if they have much, if any, Lutheran awareness. I suspect most of them have never heard of the Book of Concord,and would not know it even if it head them in the head, and have long forgotten the Small Catechism.
I don't know that the liturgical movement in the LCMS was only a parish phenomenon.
I think it was also a reaction to the invasion of so-called contemporary worship into the LCMS in the 1980's ff.
"The Eucharist is not the source and summit of our faith."
Something a true, authentic Lutheran should/can never say. Dear God! Please go back to Confirmation class. Please see a true Lutheran Pastor. The Eucharist IS, IS, IS Jesus, so it is like you are saying "Jesus is not the source and summit of faith." Dear God, have mercy!
How is the Incarnate Word, the very living, resurrected Body and Blood of God! Your God! Jesus! Literally, physically present on the Altar and in our mouths -NOT the source and summit of our faith. YES, JESUS IS! What do you think is on the Altar and joining to our flesh? Obviously faith is given by God to the communicate prior. This obviously does not exclude Baptism (which is the entire identity of the Christian) and the holy Writ, but do you realize what EXACTLY the Sacrament of the Altar is?!
The Sacrament of the Altar is also the very summit of the Divine Service. How is it not if you believe the very Words of Jesus?
How can anyone separate the Word of God from Jesus. You are a Fundamentalist.
How can anyone separate the work of the Holy Spirit from Jesus. You are Pentecostalist.
If you are a pastor I will consider your many comments with the respect due to a fellow pastor. But if you are a layman, it would be more appropriate for you to ask questions rather than make statements.
I will say this: you are giving a fair portrayal of Luther. But I think Luther was dead wrong on this. He elevated the preaching of the word, the sermon, above the Eucharist.
But true Lutheran preaching - the Word - leads the baptized to the Blessed Sacrament which is the "source and summit" of our faith. Even as Jesus says: "THIS CUP is the New Testament."
There is no closer union that the Christiain can have with God on earth than the celebration of this Sacrament. It both constitutes and defines us as the redeemed of Christ.
Everything else the church does leads to it, and proceeds from it.
Rev. Dean Kavouras, Pastor
Christ Lutheran Church
Luther spoke out of both sides of his mouth, elevating the Word against Rome and the Sacraments against the Enthusiasts. He was not a systematician and he did not provide a systematic theology but was an exegete. The one who seeks in Luther a uniform, logical, development of his position is a fool on a fool's errand. That does not take away from Luther at all to say this. Luther was not Aquinas or Calvin. Stop trying to make him into them.
These are unwarranted claims.
If anything, Luther elevated the sermon to the level of a Sacrament if not above the Sacrament.
The Word was more important than the signs according to his Invocavit and Maundy Thursday Sermons. The internal reception of Christ by faith, more crucial than the external reception of bread and wine. A false dilemma if ever there was one.
Nonetheless, your comments rely heavily on Luther; and so you are not now allowed to disown him because the rug has been pulled out.
As another commentor stated: The Sacrament "IS IS IS Jesus." And so It / He is the source and summit of our faith. Preaching serves the Sacrament.
Rev. Dean Kavouras
"But the Sacrament of the Holy Supper was instituted not merely that by its observance Christ might be honored; for He can truthfully say: I need not thy praise, I am the Son of God, whether thou glorifiest me or not; but also and especially for the reason that we stand in need of such a Testament and Supper, and that we might be benefited by it. Listen to the words with which He gives the bread: "Take, eat, this is my body, which is given for you," and with which, soon after, He gives the cup: "Drink ye all of it; this cup is the New Testament in my blood, which is shed for vou, for the remission of sins."
"This declaration is the Christian's most effective consolation; for he who really believes that Christ gave His body for him, and that He shed His blood for the remission of his sins, cannot despair, no matter what sin, the world and the devil may say. He knows that this treasure wherewith his sins have been cancelled is far greater than all his iniquities.
"But the consolation contained in this declaration stands not alone; Christ really gives us with the bread His body to eat, and with the wine His blood to drink, as the words plainly state, in spite of the devil. Each one that eateth and drinketh, receives for himself in this Sacrament the body and the blood of Christ as his own especial gift. Yea, this is the very truth which we must firmly hold: Christ suffered and died for me also, and not alone for St. Peter, St. Paul or other saints. To assure us of this truth Christ gave His Testament; for through it each one individually receives the body and the blood of Christ. It is therefore proper to say that through this Sacrament we obtain forgiveness of sins; for where Christ is, there is forgiveness of sins; here we have His body and blood, as the words declare; therefore he who eats and drinks, believing that the body of Christ was given for him, and that His blood was shed for the forgiveness of his sins, must surely have this forgiveness. Yet, it is not the act of going to the Sacrament, nor the eating and the drinking, whereby we gain this divine grace, as the Papists falsely teach concerning the performance of their mass; but it is the faith in us which believes the words of Christ when He says: I give you my body, given for you into death, and give you my blood, shed for you for the remission of your sins. Thus will our reception of the Sacrament tend to the strengthening of our faith, and the chief and greatest blessing of this Testament will be ours."
Martin Luther, excerpt from Sermon for Maundy Thursday
You have produced yet on more of Luther's false dilemmas.
The sacrament's reception v. the faith of the mind.
The external v. the interior.
Luther made many of these logical fallacies. He was unhinged at a number of points. But worst of all is that these unhinged moments are what have survived. And still live and breathe 500 years later among "every other Sunday communion" Lutheran parishes on one hand; and those who deny the efficacy of the Sacraments on the other.
It all leads back to the man himself.
Sigh, "If we could just get rid of Luther, then we could be real Lutherans!"
Luther's "true" not false dilemma is that we are justified and sinners at the same time. You as a chaplain should know this. The Supper is a Testament. Remember reading Chemnitz's book on the Lord's Supper, and he goes on and on for hundreds of pages about it being a testament? And you're thinking, I get it already, now when do we get to the good stuff? You know, John 6 and medicine of immortality kind of stuff? Well, he never does. That's because, for Lutherans, Holy Communion is the New Testament, the Gospel. We proclaim the Lord's death and remember his crucifixion for the forgiveness of our sins. We can indeed never remember it enough. Jesus gives us his true body and blood individually as a seal and pledge that this forgiveness of sins by grace through faith is indeed ours. The Lord's Supper is something we should desire often, but not, as Luther points out, as an act whereby we receive divine grace, but to proclaim, strengthen, and preserve our faith, believing the words of Christ, that is, the Gospel, to life everlasting.
The page 5 quandary is simply due to the fact that if no one "announced" for communion, there would be no communion. So, you need a non-communion liturgy! It's been that way for Lutherans since the Reformation. I am astounded that no one mentions this. Nowadays, no one "announces" for communion on Saturday. So everyone wonders why page 5 exists. It must be Reformed. It must be Pietist. No, it's Lutheran. If a congregation decides to have communion every other Sunday, that's their right. Maybe they want to devote more time to a lengthier sermon and more prayers. But let's not pretend that all 16th century Lutheran churches had communion every Sunday. If there were no announced communicants, they didn't. It's an old saw, but Luther didn't even go to communion more than every other Sunday.
Oh for the love of God! Anonymous you are annoying. You weren’t there when Luther started the reformation and it’s reasonable to assume that since he said that they do not abolish the mass that they had communion every Sunday. You can’t apply 21 century reasoning and wisdom on the 16th century. Whether or not your communion was valid, well, that’s a whole other story better left for theologians.
Let's take it one step at a time.
You equivocate. I use "dilemma" in one way, and you use it in another. Let us stay on the subject. Luther proposed many false dilemmas, and as often as he did, he did harm to the truth, since a "false dilemma" is just that. False. A lie. And lies harm people.
My chaplaincy has nothing to do with the discussion, patronizing doesn't help our discussion, nor does changing the subject to Chemnitz. Nor does sarcasm, it's a sign of fatigue.
And so let us stick to the subject and talk as among friends face to face.
Luther got himself into a pickle, and I don't criticize him for it. He bit off more than he could chew. The fur was flying, and the fact that he did as well as he did says a lot.
Luther might be compared to Hilkiah who found Torah that had been lost in the neglected temple. (2 Kings 22:8 And Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the secretary, "I have found the Book of the Law in the house of the LORD." And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, and he read it.)
But thought he re-discovered the gospel, he was not always a reliable expositor of it. When he was good he was very good, and when he wasn't, he wasn't. And it is the "when he wasn't" that we still suffer from today. Let's talk about P. 5. which has no place in the holy Christiain religion. Let's get at it from this angle. When a pastor fills in for another pastor he terms it: I am preaching for Pr. so and so this Sunday.
Why that verb? Is he only delivering a sermon, is he not leading the baptized in worship? Administering the Sacrament?
We talk this way, 500 years later, because of Luther who elevated the sermon above Eucharist. Again, read his works on Church And Ministry and this will become clear.
I don't know why he did that. I suspect because he was getting snowed under by the oppostioin, and literally could not deal with the question at hand. And so he committed any number of "hasty generalizations" (Dicto Simpliciter). He dismissed things that must not be dismissed. The prime example, and worst offence of all (that rendered Luther a sectarian in my opinion) is the elimination of the canon, rather than repair it.
What to do?
Go with what you've got.
I don't know if that is what he was thinking, but that is the way things are universally understood among Lutheran, and Protestant clergy today (though things are changing for the better). That is why we have non communion Sundays in the LCMS. Not because there are no communicants on board.
There is much more to say but let this suffice for now.
Rev. Dean Kavouras,
Well said Rev. Dean
Did Luther elevate the sermon above the Sacrament or did Luther provide an over correction because of the abysmal state of preaching at his time? There were no page 5s in his day to rail against but plenty of page 15s without much except a moral address as homily.
Again, Luther did not ever write a systematic theology nor did he intend to, as was pointed out above. What Luther did, as a reformer of the time in which he lived, was point out the abuse of placing the Sacrament above the Word by elevating the Word (above the Sacrament in the same way that Jesus would say if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out).
And Luther in practice is worth a look. I think Pastor Peters has referred to Eduard Peters doctoral thesis (available from the Ft. Wayne seminary bookstore) on Luther and the principle that apart from the use there is no sacrament (or something like that). To suggest Luther held a low view of the Sacrament is to pit Luther against his own practice.
Read many of the Church Fathers, particularly Clement of Rome. When they spoke of worship, liturgy, etc. they were often using the word “testament.” What is Christ’s last testament but the Eucharist? Certainly the center of the Church is her Head, but the jewel in the crown on that Head is what He gave us for our life and forgiveness.
The Sacrament existed before the WRITTEN word. And since Christ is the WORD and the Sacrament is CHRIST wholly present (I won’t argue transubstantiation since that would go nowhere here) then it stands to reason that it is the center of the Church and the pinnacle of her worship.
That’s all I’ll say. Reverend Dean, you’re a brilliant man.
So you're arguing that the sacraments preceded the Torah?
Well yes! Since Christ is God and is in the Eternal Now, then yes, the Sacrament preceded the Torah since Christ is THE SACRAMENT. If you believe that Christ is present in the Eucharist (again not arguing theological particulars) then the Eucharist is the source and summit of worship. You do, I presume, believe in the Real Presence as understood in the Lutheran Church. If you do, then why would that not be the source and pinnacle of your worship?
So you believe that Christ did not inaugurate the Lord's Supper at the Last Supper?
Well if you believe that Christ is Eternal then what you and I understand in the temporal, yes He did institute it at the Last Supper. But in terms of the Eternal, and in the Eternal Now, it was already done. Do you believe that God (Triune) knows what was, is and is going to be?
Well if we are speaking about what came first in the chronology of time then we are speaking of the temporal and I'm glad you understand that the Torah preceded the institution of the Lord's Supper.
Perhaps this will help.
Mr. Gray, what does it matter? So if the Torah came before the Lord’s Supper then by your reasoning that trumps the Lord’s Supper and thus we should go back to just celebrating the Passover. You’re ridiculous.
And David, you didn’t answer my question as to why, if you believe in the Real Presence as understood in the Lutheran Church, that the Eucharist would not be the source and summit of your worship.
Btw, a truly blessed Resurrection Day to all here.
You have attributed to me multiple things I have not said.
And conceded the one point where I corrected you.
And I do not set the Word preached and the Word made visible at the table against each other.
The same to you...
℣. Regina cæli, lætare, alleluia:
℟. Quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia,
℣. Resurrexit, sicut dixit, alleluia,
℟. Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia.
℣. Gaude et lætare, Virgo Maria, alleluia.
℟. Quia surrexit Dominus vere, alleluia.
Deus, qui per resurrectionem Filii tui, Domini nostri Iesu Christi,
mundum lætificare dignatus es:
præsta, quæsumus, ut per eius Genitricem Virginem Mariam,
perpetuæ capiamus gaudia vitæ.
Per eumdem Christum Dominum nostrum.
Good morning Everyone and a Blessed Resurrection to all. Christ is risen, truly He is risen. I want to take this opportunity to apologize for inflammatory comments that I have made regarding the Lutheran Church. This I know is that you are fiercely faithful to Christ and we at least have that in common. I won’t post on here anymore but will continue to read the good Pastor’s blog because he has much that is good to say. We have to pray for unity in our battle with the current culture. We cannot do this alone but with each other with Christ as our guide. Sorry for the ramble but again, my apologies and have a Blessed Easter.
Daniel G. You indeed are a typical fiery catholic and fiercely loyal to your church. I do not hold that against you as you are finding out we Lutherans are just as convinced of our rightness as (some) Roman Catholics are. As one heavily involved in dialogue with Roman Catholics we are finding the process difficult. Even leadership thought it would be easy, we simply had to present our point of view and the other would be convinced. But, that is not the case, the road to unity will be arduous and difficult.
We must not despair as this will require a dramatic shift in our thinking with 500 hundred years of history to overcome. Conservative Lutherans and Catholics offer the only hope at the moment, as we have not only tradition, sacrements, creeds but a stance faithfulness.
So do not leave us Daniel, you are not a Michael Voris. Continue to dialogue in good faith as that is God's will in Christ Jesus.
I think the animated stridency of this debate is not over who treasures the Sacrament more--all Lutherans do--but over the perception that the liturgical movement is doctrinally redefining what Lutheranism is. Saying "Jesus is the Sacrament" or "It's all about Jesus" is not enough. "Faith alone" demands that we believe and trust Christ's words of forgiveness and salvation in the Supper.
"Yet, it is not the act of going to the Sacrament, nor the eating and the drinking, whereby we gain this divine grace, as the Papists falsely teach concerning the performance of their mass; but it is the faith in us which believes the words of Christ when He says: I give you my body, given for you into death, and give you my blood, shed for you for the remission of your sins. Thus will our reception of the Sacrament tend to the strengthening of our faith, and the chief and greatest blessing of this Testament will be ours."
This is the view of the Sacrament from the Small Catechism, to Chemnitz, to the LCMS. The view of the liturgical movement is a novelty of Löhe and Sasse. It sets faith in the background (see comments above, where "oh, yeah, faith should be there too" is always an add on) and replaces it with the body and blood itself as the focus whose reception, via John 6, becomes the primary instrument (rather than faith alone) for salvation. Again, we are redefining orthodox Lutheranism when we hold the latter view, as many Sassephiles in the LCMS do today.
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