One of the most common misconceptions about Christians is that they view themselves as better than others.  One of the most common misconceptions about Christian worship is that Christians do so in order to earn points with God.  That is, by obeying God's command to worship Him, the thought is that Christians climb higher up a ladder of goodness before God.

Just the opposite in both cases is true concerning the faith that the Holy Spirit works in Jesus Christ.  As the Holy Spirit works in a sinful human heart with God's Word, that heart becomes convinced of its overwhelming sinfulness (Psalm 19:12; Psalm 51:1,2; Psalm 130:3, 4; Isaiah 64:6; Matthew 5: 3; Luke 18:13; Romans 3:10-12; 22-24; James 2:10; etc.).  The heart of a Christian is also convinced of the overwhleming grace of God that covers and removes its sin in the blessed release of God's forgiveness purchased with the blood of Christ (Psalm 130:3, 4; Isaiah 1:18; Mathew 5:3; Luke 18:14; Romans 3:21-26; Ephesians 2:8, 9; Colossians 1:20; I Peter 1:18, 19).

Worship then is not primarily the Christian doing something for God.  Rather the risen, living Christ comes among His gathered people each week to do for them what they cannot do for themselves.  With all the authority of God's right hand (all authority in heaven and on earth) He comes bodily (but invisibly) to teach His people and to feed them His holy body and to give them to drink of His holy blood!  The risen Christ comes to bestow the fruits of His perfect life and sacrificial death, delivering His forgiveness in means of grace to which He has connected His sure and certain promise!

The center of human history is the sacrificial death of the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.  The center of our lives today is the presence of the living Christ delivering His blood-bought gifts of forgiveness, life and salvation in Word and Sacrament.  That's why the work of the risen Christ in our midst in weekly worshp is the one thing needful (Luke 10:38-42) 

Martin Luther's hymn stanza expresses this central truth in a clear and concise way (LSB #581 - These are the Holy Ten Commands)

"
You shall observe the worship day
That peace may fill your home, and pray,
And put aside the work you do,
So that God may work in you." Have mercy, Lord
!

Luther Memorial Chapel & University Student Center | 3833 N Maryland Ave | Shorewood, WI  53211
(414) 332-5732 |lmcusc@lmcusc.org

Divine Service: Sundays - 9:00a Mondays - 7:00p Bible Study & Sunday School: Sundays - 10:45a