The forgiveness of all sins and the freeing of every individual of all shame and guilt was won by the death of Jesus on the cross. But the forgiveness He won on the cross is not delivered to us personally at the cross. We weren’t there, but Jesus wants to comfort us with His salvation today. In the Lord’s Service, He serves us with His Gospel, delivering the forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation to us today. While the world’s religions attempt to climb toward their “gods” through their works, emotions, or reason, the Lord Jesus halts our climbing and descends to us in worship just as He did when He was born in Bethlehem.
In our worship Christ first comes to us and in joyful response to His mercy and grace, we respond with praise, thanksgiving, and praying for the Church and the world. The Lord’s Church has been given a rich tradition of liturgy and hymnody that clearly confesses the foundation of our faith: Christ crucified for sinners. One of the greatest gifts the history of the Church has left to us is a Scripture-filled “liturgy” or “public service” that places Christ and His forgiveness at the center of our worship services.
As we seek to place our focus on God we look to our worship heritage and seek to make it our own. As we look to make our worship meaningful, facilitating people to worship God through the faith that is theirs we look to the rich resources that Christians have been inspired to through the ages. In worship we are connected to God, to one another and to fellow Christians through time and place, both here and in heaven.