Why does our Lord gather us for worship?

The most precious gifts and treasures our Lord gives us are His forgiveness, life and salvation. Through His innocent life and bitter sufferings and death, Christ has purchased and won us from sin, death and the devil. Through Jesus Christ, all the sins of the world were paid for and the wrath of God was appeased. Christ has reconciled the whole world to God. Jesus Christ serves us again and again as His Gospel is proclaimed, as His people are baptized and as His Word is read. He serves us as His forgiveness is pronounced and penitents absolved. He serves us as He gives us His body and blood under the bread and wine to eat and to drink. This is how our Lord gives us forgiveness, life, and salvation. What a blessing it is to be called and gathered for worship by our good and gracious God!

What is at the heart and center of Lutheran worship?

Lutheran worship puts the focus squarely on Jesus Christ, who is present for us and with us through His Word and Sacraments. Lutheran worship is, therefore, Christ-centered, not man-centered. When we are gathered for worship, we are not contemplating some far-off Christ or meditating on abstract concepts, or pondering various principles for living. Neither are we in church to be amused or entertained. Christ is living and active among us, right where He has promised to be in His Word and Sacraments. Jesus said, “Lo, I am with you always, to the very end of the age”(Matt.18:20). When He gathers us around His Word and Sacraments, He fulfills this promise to us once again.

(These questions and answers are taken from Rev. Dr. A.L. Barry's pamphlet "What About...Lutheran Worship." The entire pamphlet is available

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