Four and Twenty + Blackbirds is one of the most unique Lutheran blogs going. It is a collection of some twenty pastors who dialogue amongst themselves about issues of the day and allow us into their world to see what is going on and to comment. One of the Blackbirds, Rev. Rick Stuckwisch spoke at a worship conference yesterday in in Zionsville, IN and presented the following excellent theses on worship.
From the Worship & Spiritual Care Workshop, 19 September 2009, here are my thirty-five theses on the Liturgy and Adiaphora:
1. The Divine Liturgy, properly speaking (Apology XXIV.79–83), comprises the Ministry of the Gospel, which is the preaching and Baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, the confession of Christ Jesus, the ongoing catechesis of His Word, and the faithful administration of His Body and His Blood to His disciples. This Divine Liturgy is not adiaphora, but is the Holy Gospel, the Word and work of the Holy Triune God, which is fundamental and necessary to faith and life in Christ.
2. To be liturgical is not simply to “have” or “do” the Word and Sacrament; but to be liturgicalã€€is to be defined by these things of the Gospel, to be governed and guided by them, entirely under their sway. To be liturgical, therefore, is to be evangelical; and to be truly evangelical is to be liturgical.
3. The Divine Liturgy is where and how the Church lives with God in Christ, by grace through faith in the Gospel. The evangelical mission of the Church flows out of that liturgical life in Christ, with the purpose of bringing others into the Liturgy of the Gospel.
4. To hear and receive the Divine Liturgy in faith and with thanksgiving is the worship of the Holy Triune God in Spirit and in Truth.
5. The freedom of faith in worship, as in all of Christian life, is the freedom of the Gospel.
Continue to Four and Twenty Blackbirds for the rest of the theses.