Saturday, August 10, 2013

Church: The Loading Zone


Today's Higher Things devotions is perfect. I don't attend church to hear about tips to live a successful life. I don't attend church to hear how my obedience to God's Laws gives me value. I don't attend church to hear that I must invite someone to church. I don't attend church to hear that I should tweet about attending church. I don't attend church to have the Gospel glossed over because it's assumed everyone already knows and understands it. I attend church because it's where this poor, miserable sinner receives abundant gifts:

Think of the Divine Service tomorrow. It's like a constant caravan of gifts and benefits being delivered to you. It starts with remembering your baptism. There's absolution. Then there's the Word read and the sermon preached, delivering Jesus and His forgiveness. There's the Supper where Christ Himself is present with His body and blood for you. And tying it all together is a constant flow of hymns, liturgy, and prayer, centered in and flowing from and echoing God's Word. Benefits! Lots of benefits!
Benefits of the cross. Gifts of the saving tree. Fruits of salvation earned and won for you by the Son of God on Calvary when He died for you and rose again on Easter. From his side flow such benefits: water and blood, Baptism and Supper. Forgiveness of sins. Rescue from death and the devil. Eternal salvation. Life and salvation. Loads of benefits earned by Him and delivered to you in His church.
Tomorrow, in church, is the “loading zone.” There, you will open wide the arms of faith and the Lord will pour into your possession, will pile on to you, all of these gifts. More gifts than you can hold. More than you can ask for. More than you can ever imagine. And He'll keep doing that, day after day, week after week, year after year, until He delivers the final gift of Himself on the Last Day, in all His glory, to raise you from the dead and give you life everlasting. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.
All glory to the One Who lavishes such love; The triune God in love Assures our life above. His means of grace for us Are gifts He loves to give; All thanks and praise for His Great love by which we live! (The Gifts Christ Freely Gives, LSB 602:6)


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