Faith Lutheran Church

Pastor's Message

May 2019

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

It was nineteen years ago now that I attended Worship Jubilee 2000, an event of our national church held in Chicago. I anticipated receiving primarily good, sound "how-to" suggestions to enrich the worship life of my congregation.

That's not what I got. What I got was greater and far more valuable. What I got was inspirational and uplifting. What I got was enriching and renewing. In case you haven't figured it out--I am very glad I went! And all these years later, I still feel it's impact.

I heard many powerful and wonderful things said. I saw and worshiped in beautiful churches. I listened to and participated in some glorious singing. But none of that is the primary reason for the impact of the event. In that place, I was gathered with a host of others who had a powerful love of worship!

Shouldn't that be the case each Sunday? Now, before you get too upset with me, realize that I'm not saying that none of you love worship. It seems clear to me, however, that too many of us, too often, don't love worship enough. If we did, wouldn't more of us be there more often? Wouldn't we be more faithful in keeping our promise to bring our baptized children "to the word of God and the holy supper" or our own affirmation that we would "hear the word of God and share in the Lord's supper," spoken at our confirmation? Wouldn't there be more enthusiastic singing? Wouldn't there be less watch watching? Wouldn't there be a greater overall mood of celebration and a sense that what was happening here was key to who we are as individuals and as a congregation? If these things are lacking, it may, in part, be because of our worship service's style or content or leadership. However, one of the things which I was reminded of most strongly in Chicago is that such personal preferences should not be determinate of our attendance or our involvement in worship. We shouldn't worship because it makes us feel good...though it might. We don't worship because we're going to sing my favorite old hymn...though we might. We don't worship because of anything that's in it for us...though there can be so much in it fo rus!

As Bishop Robert Rimbo indicated in one of the forums I attended, we worship because it is our vocation as Christians...it is what we do...it is who we are. God calls us to be in this place, together being addressed by God's Word to us. Worship is "God's ongoing celebration of the redemption of the world." How privileged we are to be invited to this great feast!

In Christ,
Pastor Zimmermann