The Importance of Going through the Motions

Any musician will tell you there’s nothing particularly exciting about practicing scales. It can be one of the most boring and rote aspects of a musician’s routine, but the path to virtuosity requires every aspiring student to go through the motions (ad … Continue reading

Living Catechisms

Despite all of the emphasis Scripture puts on life together, it’s really common for Christians to see faith individualistically. Of course you can’t believe for anyone else, but it’s easy to overlook the impact your faith (or lack thereof) has … Continue reading

Pewcards (Divine Service — an Explanation)

We at BJS were deeply involved in generating this pewcard, so we periodically post information on it, letting new readers have the opportunity to educate the laity at their church on what the liturgy means. Pastor Timothy Rossow originally developed … Continue reading

Introducing… The Church Growth Translation of the Bible!

Do you want to grow your congregation? It’s simple! Just follow these two easy steps. 1) Read the Bible. 2) Do the exact opposite. See! Easy peasy lemon squeezy. But don’t worry, if you’re so apathetic to the Bible that you won’t … Continue reading

Why the McDonald’s Bathroom Isn’t as Holy as the Divine Service

Prolegomena: This is the sixth and what will likely be the final chapter of the recent discussion on praise bands between Pr. Reeder and myself, as he has indicated that he will not be making any further response. For my part, … Continue reading

Whose liturgy is it anyway?

I was reading in Rev. Eric Andersen’s article‘s comments section when I happened across a very enlightening comment from a BJS reader who said, “I know you will join my prayers that God will continue to work through each of … Continue reading

Why the Praise Band & I Are Never, Ever, Ever Getting Back Together

Please note: This post is a response to Pastor Kent Reeders’ response to my post, “Why I Quit the Praise Band.” If you haven’t read those two articles already, please do so as it will provide you with the necessary context … Continue reading

Why Christians Make the Sign of the Holy Cross (and a word on genuflection)

In The Small Catechism, Martin Luther encouraged Christians to retain the practice of making the sign of the cross. The Missouri Synod, following Luther’s advice, has encouraged Christians to continue making the sign of the cross, notably at a number of places during … Continue reading

Snatched, Scorched, & Strangled (or: High Fructose Hymns and Liturgical Saccharine): A Sermon for Sexagesima on St. Luke 8:4-15

There were two types of sowing in the ancient world. The first method, by far the most accurate, was to scatter the seeds by hand, placing them with an almost surgical precision in the most fertile soil. The other (less … Continue reading

Lutheran Worship

What does it mean to “worship God?” It is precisely that question Lutherans are asking and at the same time are offering answers. One approach at answering the question at hand is with a negative answer, what worship is not. … Continue reading

Who Left Whom? CoWo Isn’t a Practice of Walking Together

One thing I don’t understand about this whole affair of CoWo at CUNE and in LC-MS congregations (please read this thread and the comments for some examples and context) is why those introducing this recent innovation into the LC-MS have … Continue reading

Adolescent Ecclesiology

In The Contemplative Pastor, Eugene Peterson makes the observation that  our culture is “unwell in a new way.”  In contrast to previous generations, where older generations passed their values and wisdom down to younger ones, it appears that in our … Continue reading

The Kyrie: Simple Words, Profound Comfort

(Luther, “The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector”) Sometimes the most simple and obvious things are also the most profound.  We often go to great lengths to find comfort, to improve our situation in life, to find peace.  … Continue reading

The Divine Service Can Be Like Going to Mars

Have you ever been to a foreign country where the language and customs of its people were utterly strange to you? Visiting some countries is nearly an extraterrestrial experience and interestingly enough, going to the divine service for the first … Continue reading

What Struggles Do Former Evangelicals Have With The Lutheran Liturgy?

The journey from American Evangelicalism into Confessional Lutheranism is a long, difficult, and sometimes scary road. The journey is neither something that just happens overnight, nor is it an easy shift. The shift has linguistic, emotional, worldview, and epistemological challenges … Continue reading

Steadfast in Society: Liturgics and the Young

At this past Lenten Wednesday service we (Divine Savior Lutheran Church, Shepherdsville, KY) had an opportunity to introduce a couple of young men into the service of our Lord. Many parishes often times have struggles with getting the young to … Continue reading

Great Stuff — Why liturgy? Thoughts about its form and function in the Lutheran Church

Another great post found over on Pr. Mark Surburg’s Blog:   A. Theology of the Divine Service Every Sunday we gather for worship at church.  As we consider what happens on Sunday morning, it is essential that we think about the … Continue reading

Great Stuff — Religion = doctrine or experience?

Another great post by Pastor Peters over on Pastoral Meanderings:   Again, First Things has a good piece on liturgical renewal and the return of one raised in the liturgy to that very liturgy that gave him life.  It is … Continue reading

Liturgical Boot Camp

When is the last time you saw the word “liturgical,” in the same sentence with “boot camp”? Initially they don’t seem to have anything in common but upon further investigation this belief might change. Yes, the increase of physical endurance … Continue reading

Does your worship prepare you for death?

I had the opportunity to hear an excellent presentation this afternoon from a neighboring pastor (Rev. Shawn Kumm of Zion, Laramie) on Lutheran worship.  One of the best points that he made was related to how worship is meant to … Continue reading

Higher Things — Top Ten Reason Why We Use the Liturgy

by The Rev. William Cwirla ((Found by a friend’s facebook posting on Why the Liturgy? First a definition and a disclaimer. By “liturgy” I mean the western catholic mass form as it has been handed down by way of … Continue reading

Blessed Easter – The Vigil from Chicago, by Pr. Rossow

Each year our parish (Bethany – Naperville, Illinois) marks the Easter Vigil. It is an abbreviated service, about an hour and a half, not the entire night in vigil. It starts with a procession from a bonfire outside the church and … Continue reading

the Lutheran Clarion – An Apologia for the Historic Liturgy, by Rev. William Weedon

(LCA just released the November issue of the Lutheran Clarion. We are pleased to post articles on the BJS website from one of the longest operating confessional groups in the LCMS – The Lutheran Concerns Association – LCA. We will … Continue reading