Why we worship
Why do we worship? To many people, worship seems like a waste of time. It makes more sense to stay home and read the Sunday paper. But, worship is not a waste of time. Worship is where you hear the Word of God and receive the sacrament. Hearing the Word can be in the form of songs, dialogs, sermons, and the like. The sacrament refers to the Lord’s supper, in which bread and wine symbolize the body and blood of the crucified Jesus. Bread and wine are the “means of grace.” (Water is the means for the other sacrament – baptism.) Other activities are usually added to worship like Confession and Forgiveness, the Creed, Prayers, offering (of course), and even announcements. I like Confession and Forgiveness at the beginning of a worship service because it gets the relationship with God right from the start. A man from Liberia taught us to place the announcements midway so that people have all arrived by that time and are paying attention. A good worship service has the effect of reframing your life for the next week. In most churches there is a worship committee through which variety and inspiration are creatively exercised. Worship doesn’t have to be the same every week (It can be though.), nor does it have to conform to some traditional form. At St. Olaf, we use “blended” and “convergent” worship. Blended means each culture present gets something from their culture and each culture must tolerate the offerings from the other culture (80 somethings have to put up with rap). Convergent means that the elements of the service are placed the way we want them, not according to some ancient formula (Though many people like the ancient mass.) I invite you to come experience a worship service at St. Olaf.