Divine Service Explanation #1
The Purpose of the Divine Service
Lutherans often use the term “Divine Service” (i.e., “the service of God”) for our weekly gathering around Word and Sacrament, both because God serves us there through the office of the Holy Ministry, and because we serve God there by joining together with fellow believers to give thanks to God and to serve one another. The emphasis in the Lutheran Divine Service is always on God’s service to us.
Other historical terms for the Divine Service: “The Mass,” “The Eucharist”
The purpose of the Divine Service is for believers in Christ to gather, at Christ’s command, around the ministry of His Word and Sacrament, in order to:
- Hear the preaching of the Word of Christ from the called and ordained servant of Christ (Luke 10:16; John 10:16; John 8:31-32; Acts 2:42; 2 Cor. 5:20).
- Receive admonition, correction and instruction from God’s Word, through God’s minister (Luke 12:42-44; 2 Tim. 4:2).
- Unite with fellow believers in the communion of the body and blood of Christ (1 Cor. 10:16-17; 1 Cor. 11:24-25).
- Seek and receive forgiveness from God through His servant (Jn. 20:23; Acts 2:38,42; Matt. 26:26-28; 1 Cor. 4:1).
- Have our faith strengthened (Rom. 10:17).
- Be built up and continually renewed in love as the Body of Christ (Eph. 4:12-32; 1 Cor. 14:3).
- Pray to God for mercy, for ourselves and others (Acts 2:42; Matt. 6:5-13; Matt. 9:27; 1 Tim. 2:1-2).
- Give thanks to God in the great assembly (Ps. 35:18; Col. 3:17).
- Confess the Christian faith, for our own benefit and for the benefit of outsiders (Acts 2:46-47; Rom. 10:8-10; Rom. 15:7-13; 1 Cor. 11:26).
- Encourage and admonish one another to remain faithful and to bear the cross patiently (Gal. 6:2; Col. 3:16; Heb. 10:24-25).