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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.

The Psalm for this week is Psalm 57.  The Small Catechism lesson is the Fourth Commandment.

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 discuss the innovations in American Evangelical worship as put forth by Dwight Moody.  We will discuss how using marketing techniques to share to Gospel actual dilutes and destroys the Gospel.  We will talk about the bad theology of the altar call and decision theology.  We will then 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 Pax Domini (LSB 197).  We will talk about the peace of God that we receive in the Sacrament of the Altar.  We will sing the great Lutheran communion hymn “I Come, O Savior, to Thy Table” (LSB 618-619).

We will then move on to cover the last ordinary of the church the Agnus Dei (LSB 198).  We will talk about how Christ is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, and how we receiving Him in the Holy Supper.  We will sing the hymn “Lamb of God, Pure and Holy” (LSB 434).

Finally we will discuss the Distribution (LSB 199).  We will talk about what it means to examine ones self and rightly receive the Sacrament of the Altar.  We will discuss proper practice and reception of the Sacrament as well as why we sing hymns during the Distribution.  We will close by singing the hymn “Jesus Christ, Our Blessed Savior” (LSB 627)

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.

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