A Liturgical Lesson

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S (Scripture): Numbers 6:22 The Lord spoke to Moses: 23 Tell Aaron and his sons: You will bless the Israelites as follows. Say to them:

24  The Lord bless you and protect you.

25  The Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you.

26  The Lord lift up his face to you and grant you peace.

27 They will place my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.

O (Observation): This 3-fold blessing is not something that some church leader made up a few years ago. This is a blessing handed down from God to Moses for Aaron and the other priests to use to bless the Israelites.

This is a big deal.

A (Application): We use much scripture in worship as a Lutheran congregation of the ELCA. More than you might think.

As we change some of our liturgy based on the church liturgical calendar, we incorporate the worship texts throughout each season into the words of our prayers and blessing or in our confession and forgiveness, and more.

The hymns also reflect certain scriptures, and typically reflect the season of the Church calendar and messages given through the sermon.

But when we need a tried and true blessing…we can go all the way back to Moses and Aaron.

P (Prayer): Lord, as you provide the words of blessing, help us to know we are in your ever-loving care. Amen.

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Freedom from Bondage

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S (Scripture): Luke 22:19 Then Jesus took bread, and after giving thanks he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 22:20 And in the same way he took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.”

O (Observation): Jesus gathers with his disciples for one last full meal before his suffering and death are to take place. They have gathered to celebrate the Passover meal. Jesus ushers in a new era by giving a new understanding to the Passover. The Passover celebrates God rescuing His people from bondage in Egypt. But now it also means something else: those who believe in Jesus Christ are now released from the bondage to sin and death.

A (Application): As a Lutheran, my first thoughts tend to go to the liturgy (our worship content). In the liturgy, we get so many of our words directly from Scripture, kind of like the text written above (for our Communion liturgy).

I’m so glad that Jesus establishes Holy Communion as a regular reminder of who Jesus is and what he has done for us. This is a high point of our worship service for me. We come to the Table (every week) broken and disheartened. And yet, we can walk away filled and made whole.

Forgetting is so easy. We can easily forget that Jesus has made us whole in order to serve the world. We can easily forget that Jesus has given us authority and power to do God’s will here, now.

What does weekly worship and Holy Communion bring to the forefront of your heart and mind?

I confess, some weeks I don’t notice the change in me, but some weeks I do notice. And on the weeks that I don’t notice a change, I simply remember that God is still doing some kind of work in me…so that God can do some kind of work through me. That God is releasing me from my self-inflicted wounds (shame, failure, doubt, disappointment).

Let weekly worship be a part of your life. Be reminded, week after week, that God’s grace and love is big enough for you and for all y’all. (That’s plural possessive : )

P (Prayer): Lord Jesus, your new Passover for this whole world is a treasure that we value, deeply. You set us free to be your people – free of shame, free of doubt, free from the bondage to sin and death. We give you thanks for this freedom and seek wisdom on how to use this freedom for your Kingdom. Amen.