Lutheran Essentials meets in the undercroft of the church on Wednesday evenings at 7pm. You can reach the undercroft by going around to the back parking lot of the church and descending the staircase to the kitchen. Knock on the door if it is closed and some one will let you in. Our current study is on “The Fire and the Staff” by Klemet Preus and the Historic Liturgy. If you do not have a copy of the “The Fire and the Staff” or the Book of Concord we are providing them for free.
We will be reading through “The Fire and the Staff”. We will start reading Chapter 10: The Staff is Lost (pg. 313-358). We will pick up our discussion the innovations in American Evangelical worship as put forth by Dwight Moody by reading Counting the Saved (pg. 328). We will discuss how using the growth of the church as a metric for a successful church is contrary to Scripture. We will also talk about how preaching to people’s felt needs turns Christianity in to Moralistic Therapeutic Deism. We will talk about how exhortational and motivational preaching turns the preacher into a life coach and leads to cults of personality. We will also talk about how all of these techniques really do nothing to convert anyone but rather only appeal to those who are already in church. All of these practices and others work to destroy the actual gifts and blessings God gives us in the Divine Service.
In our study of the Divine Service Setting III in Lutheran Service Book we will pick up with the Nunc Dimittis (LSB 199-200). We will discuss how Luther’s addition of this Biblical canticle to the Divine Service focuses us on how after the reception of the Lord’s Supper we are fully prepared to die. We will sing the the hymn “In Peace and Joy I Now Depart” (LSB 938).
We will then talk about the Thanksgiving (LSB 200-201). We will talk about the continued celebration and thanks given to God for the Eucharist, especially in the words of Psalms 107, 118, and 136. We will sing the hymn “Now Thank We All Our God” (LSB 895).
Next we will cover the Salutation and Benedicamus (LSB 201-202). We will talk about the gift of the presence of God and the blessings that He has given in the Sacrament just administered. We will sing the hymn “My Soul, Now Praise Your Maker” (LSB 820)
Finally we will cover the Benediction (LSB 202). We will talk about Luther’s innovation of using the Aaronic benediction to close the Divine Service. We close with singing the two hymns “O Jesus, Blessed Lord, to Thee” (LSB 632) and “Almighty Father, Bless the Word” (LSB 923) closing with the Common Doxology.
As always new people are always welcome to this study at any point during the class. Please talk to the Pastor, Elders or Paul Edmon if you have any questions.