We receive the LORD's gifts in worship Sundays at 9:30am. The full Divine Service is held on the first and third Sundays of the month and a Service of Prayer and Preaching is held on the second and third Sundays. 

The Divine Service 

In the beginning, God created mankind to live in fellowship with Him, to rejoice in the sound of His voice, and to eat the food He provided that they might have life (Genesis 2:9; 3:8, 22). Adam and Eve fell into sin by rejecting what God's Word taught, rejecting the food God had given, and hiding from God's presence and voice. 

At Mt. Sinai, when God redeemed the children of Abraham, He brought them to that place that they might gather in His presence, hear Him speak His Word, and that they might eat of the food He provided and not die (Exodus 33:11; Deuteronomy 34:10; Exodus 24:10-11). 

In the Tabernacle (and later the Temple), God instructed the priests and people in a pattern of  daily worship that began each day with the forgiveness of sins, the offering of bread and wine to the LORD, followed by the speaking of God's Word to His people, and then the people feasting on what remained of that offered lamb and bread and wine (Exodus 29:38-46; Leviticus 6:14-18; 7:6-10, 29-36; 24:5-9). It also included the incense of prayers (Psalm 141:2), music and psalms (1 Chronicles 23:5, 30; 2 Chronicles 29:27-28), the Aaronic benediction (Numbers 6:22-26), and the declaration of their Creed, "Hear, O Israel, the LORD your God, the LORD is one" (Deuteronomy 6:4). 

To this daily worship was added the major festivals of the Passover and Firstfruits, Pentecost, and the seventh month celebrations of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, and Booths. In these the people joined with the priests to remember the mighty works of God's redemption, forgiveness, and life both in the past and continued in their daily lives. They would gather around the place of God's presence (the Tabernacle or Temple), hear the Word of God, and feast from the sacrifices of the LORD with songs and prayers. 

This same pattern - presence, Word, feast, and prayers - is described by the New Testament for the Church after Pentecost: "And they were devoting themselves to the teaching of the Apostles and to the Communion, which is the breaking of the bread, and to the prayers," (Acts 2:42). Gathered in Jesus' name, there He was among them. Hearing the teaching of the Apostles, they heard not the men but the One who sent them. Having heard the Word of God, they broke the bread of Thanksgiving in Communion, so receiving the body and blood of Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins. 

This was still done at the end of the first century as described in that brief catechetical document called "The Didache" (meaning "teaching" of the Apostles). It describes how the Apostles taught the "two ways" of life and death; how Christians baptize in the Triune Name; the pattern of Christian fasting on Wednesdays and Fridays and praying the "Our Father" three times a day; prayers to pray when receiving the "Eucharist" or "breaking bread," and the confession of sins between Christian brothers for reconciliation prior to Communion. Likewise, in the second century (155 AD), Justin Martyr describes Christian worship as readings from "the memoirs of the Apostles," preaching, prayers, blessing of the Eucharistic cup and bread, the Words of Institution, distribution, prayers, and taking Communion to those shutins unable to participate.

It's the same pattern from the beginning: God meets with His people, speaks His Word for their blessing, and feasts with them. Which is why that's how the Revelation concludes: with God's people once again gathered in the New Eden to rejoice in God's presence and His Word and to feast with Him on Life forevermore. 

That's why this same pattern of Word and Sacrament is the form of the Divine Service we celebrate in our church, today. We gather in God's Name, receive the Lamb's forgiveness, hear His Word read and preached and sung, and we receive the feast of Jesus' body and blood in the bread and wine of Communion. Join us this Sunday to experience God's reconciling work of Word and Sacraments. 


The Basic Form of the Divine Service: 

+ Service of Confession & Absolution + 

We confess our sins to God and one another and then receive the Lord's forgiveness (absolution). 

+ Service of the Word + 

We hear from the Prophets (in the Old Testament), Apostles (in the Epistles), and Jesus (in the Gospels) and then respond to God's Word in song and prayer.

+ Service of the Sacrament + 

We receive the body and blood of Jesus in, with, and under the bread and wine.