“What is worship and why does it matter?”
Worship begins with the simple act of gathering. Woody Allen is quoted as saying, “Showing up is 80% of life.” Yet worship doesn’t start with our showing up. The pattern for worship in Evangelical Lutheran Worship gets the direction straight and ups the number: “The Holy Spirit calls us to together as the people of God.” Not 80% but 100% of the time. That is how Article 7 of the Augsburg Confession defines church: God calling us together around word and sacraments. God shows up, all the time! Because of what God does, we are church.
Elizabeth Eaton, Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, helps to center this church’s mission in what it means to gather as a church together around word and sacraments. Bishop Eaton states,
“When we gather for worship we hear God’s word or promise. We confess our helplessness and receive forgiveness. We pray and we welcome new brothers and sisters through baptism, promising to support them in their walk in faith. We are fed with the bread of life and receive our Lord poured out for us. And then we are sent back into the world. Worship is essential for the church’s life and service.”
Worship is at the heart of what we do. There we find the crucified Christ in risen form.
We hope that this ELCA Worship Blog will provide space for reflection and engagement about how and why worship is essential for this church’s life and service. Engage, share, and give thanks!
Pastor Kevin Strickland,
Assistant to the Presiding Bishop/Executive for Worship