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S (Scripture): Colossians 3:12 Therefore, as God’s choice, holy and loved, put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 Be tolerant with each other and, if someone has a complaint against anyone, forgive each other. As the Lord forgave you, so also forgive each other. 14 And over all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. 15 The peace of Christ must control your hearts—a peace into which you were called in one body. And be thankful people. 16 The word of Christ must live in you richly. Teach and warn each other with all wisdom by singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Sing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 Whatever you do, whether in speech or action, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus and give thanks to God the Father through him.
O (Observation): Paul teaches a clear ethic of love and forgiveness. Caring for one another is at the heart of Paul’s words. Be kind to one another, not just for your sake or the sake of the one you interact with…but for the Lord’s sake, as well.
The word of Christ must dwell in you, richly. Not only Jesus himself, but also songs and scriptures. Paul calls his people to constantly remind themselves of the forgiveness and mercy that God has shown to God’s people throughout history. In recalling theses words through song and readings, Paul reminds his folks that they will be close to the heart of God…and doing God’s work.
A (Application): Every week during worship, in our liturgy, in our songs, in our readings, we recall God’s saving acts of forgiveness, love, and mercy. Many don’t realize, but the liturgy in Lutheran worship is steeped in the words of scripture. We know much more of the scriptures than we give ourselves credit for. Folks might not be able to recall chapter and verse of some of the scriptures, but it does enter their hearts and minds. And it enters the hearts and minds of our little ones, too! This is why we love having our children in worship with us.
We can learn a lot during worship, but for Lutherans, worship is not just a time for learning. Worship is also a time for absorbing God’s dynamic presence: through symbols, through sacraments, through hearing and reading God’s word directly, through singing hymns and psalms, and though God’s word proclaimed and prayed.
We sing and proclaim and share God’s peace with one another, all for God’s glory. This practice is then carried out into the world. We gather weekly to be reminded of who and whose we are. We are then equipped and sent into the world to love and serve our neighbors.
Worship shapes us. Worship is not just for “me and Jesus.” Worship transforms the rest of our lives…until we gather again, in God’s name, to be reminded of who and whose we are.
May we capture this sense of grace and share it in the world today.
P (Prayer): Lord, gather us in, equip us, send us forth to serve. Amen.