unLutheran Worship

If you were to visit 5 different LCMS congregations, there’s a good chance you’d witness 5 very different approaches to worship. Hopefully you would come across at least one Divine Service, but you would almost certainly come across blended services, contemporary services, postmodern multi-media … Continue reading

“Speaking of Life” – Homily for the Resurrection of Our Lord

“Speaking of Life” Mark 16:1-8   Other Holy Week sermons from Pastor Asburry: Palm/Passion Sunday Good Friday Maundy Thursday P: Christ is risen! C: He is risen indeed! Alleluia! Friday left us in the darkness of death, the valley of … Continue reading

“What Great Love!” – Homily for Good Friday

“What Great Love!” John 18-19 When we began the season of Lent on Ash Wednesday, we prayed: “Almighty and everlasting God, You hate nothing You have made and forgive the sins of all who are penitent. Create in us new … Continue reading

“Washed and Fed to Love” – Homily for Holy (Maundy) Thursday

“Washed and Fed to Love” John 13:1-15, 34-35 A new commandment I give to you, Jesus said, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. (Jn. 13:34). That’s were we … Continue reading

Christian Worship: Palm Sunday Sermon

What is worship? How do you worship? Well, the word worship literally means to ascribe worth to someone or something. And this is certainly what we do when we worship God. We ascribe to him worth. We confess that he … Continue reading

“Ride On…to Die!” – Homily for Palm/Passion Sunday

“Ride On…to Die!” Philippians 2:5-11 & Matthew 27:11-54 St. Paul sums it up well. Jesus “made Himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men” (Phil. 2:7). You see, the “likeness of men” comes … 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

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

Dorky Jip – FiveTwo’s Definition of Worship

Wait a second… Did I read that right? The FiveTwo folks are asking on their website “What does worship mean?” But the definition given so succinctly reads: “Worship is everything we do in response to God.” So, holy worship is … Continue reading

Liturgy, Neither Alone Nor Neutral

“The liturgy, as a true service, is that which aids both the proclamation of and the hearing of the Gospel for the sake of faith, this is true worship.”[1] The liturgy of the Church builds a framework for the worshiper … Continue reading

Attempts to find Concord (not compromise) in Texas!

Last week I had the great joy of attending the 3rd Annual Free Conference of the ACELC.  The theme this year was on worship, and in the group’s earnest desire to restore unity and concord within Lutheranism they attempted to … Continue reading

Divine Service in Genesis 1-3

 A proper relationship with God is one in which we are first of all passive.  This is clearly taught in the first two chapters of Genesis.  Before the Fall into sin (Genesis 1–2), God does most of the talking and … Continue reading

Conscience and Worship

When pastors engage others in conversation about their conscience – the sense of one’s self in relation to God and creatures – we are usually dealing with those who understand conscience as an inner voice. But one must realize that … Continue reading

You Are a Light Unto the World, the Five14 Way?

Associated with the Lutheran Hour Ministries is a self-described “totally unique” youth community “…where teens (and recent survivors of teenhood) get together online and in person to make a life-changing impact on their generation with the love of Jesus Christ” … Continue reading

A Belated Reflection on Projection Screens in the Liturgical Context

The use of projection screens in place of printed books or bulletins in the Divine Service has become quite prevalent in some parts of North American Lutheranism.   With this said, I am not aware of any major study that has … Continue reading

Reasons for Reverence in the Divine Service

Nowadays we hear promoted the idea of “dignified informality” for the services of God’s House.  This nonsensical slogan to promote a casual attitude in attending the Service of Word and Sacrament is quite disjointed from the theological reality of what … Continue reading

Unity in Worship

         There was a time in the not so distant past when one could step into any Lutheran church in the United States on Sunday morning and know what to expect: the familiar common order of service.  Now this 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

Steadfast On Campus — A Common Order

I couldn’t help but follow the discussion on BJS concerning the topic of worship wars titled “Every Sunday Pro-Choice Sunday?” (Who cares that it’s March Madness!—I’m becoming a BJS addict and I admit it.) This topic captivated me because of … Continue reading

Steadfast in Worship — Three Words about Worship in the Lutheran Confessions

 I would like to spend a little time with three words mentioned by Pastor Martin Noland in his response (comment #32) to my previous post.  Thank you (and everyone) for your comments! In the Missouri Synod’s latest Rite of Ordination … Continue reading

Seeking Sanctuary and Finding None…

One of those old words used for a church building was “sanctuary”.  This word means “sacred place” and has also been noted as a place of refuge, most notably in providing a safe haven for those who are being hounded … 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

Steadfast in Worship — Considering all of the Confessions.

When I became a pastor in the Lutheran Church, I said that I would perform the duties of my office in accordance with the Lutheran Confessions. I promised, with the help of God, to preach and teach and administer the … Continue reading