Why Do You Go to Church?

by Rev. M.Barnes, Former Pastor of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church of Warsaw

Are You Here to Be Entertained?
When you walk into a church what are you expecting to happen? Are you expecting to be entertained with music that comes from, and speaks to, your heart? Are you looking for a venue in which your emotional wellbeing can be reset to something near normal? Are you wanting the high that comes from the adrenalin rush of a really powerful praise band?

How sad if you are!
How sad indeed, because all these things find their origins in … you. What I like! What (in my opinion) speaks to my heart (makes me feel good). Worship that originates from the heart of humanity has its roots in sinful flesh. It feeds on it as the roots dig deeper and deeper into that soil. And it sadly becomes what it consumes. It ultimately fails because all it does is provide you with a physiological and emotional response to a worldly form that must create its own theology in order to justify itself. And people are finding out that this is not what they are really needing from a church.

What does the soul really need?
The soul needs that which originates from God. It needs the Word of God. And traditional worship does that! Traditional Lutheran worship is properly called “Divine Service”. The emphasis in this is not our service to God, but rather God’s service to us. When you experience Divine Service in a Lutheran setting you hear one thing, and one thing only … what God has done and is doing for you! In that context we respond to Him with our praise of Him. And what is true praise of God? It’s not love songs that proclaim your love for Jesus. The highest praise of God is repeating back to Him the wonderful things that He has done in our salvation! This you have opportunity to do in traditional Lutheran worship.
We have nothing to offer God! Not even our hearts! God rather reaches down to us and gives us what we need, faith in Christ alone, and salvation that comes from Him alone. This you find in traditional Lutheran Divine Services.

Come and See!
Do you want an enriching service from God? Do you want candy and desert to sustain you through the week, or do you want meat and potatoes? Come and see! God has so much to give you in His Word.

Peace be yours!
Pastor Barnes