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Why We Do What We Do

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WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO January 5, 2020 Christmas 2 INTRODUCTION 1. End of last year = "Kingdom of God" = 3 kingdoms = Glory, heaven; Power, creation • Kingdom of Grace on earth -- traced development from Abram through his family tree • Includes King David, descendants until Jesus = son of David, Abraham = King of kings • • 2. Jesus' message: "Repent; God's kingdom = at hand" -- what = kingdom of God? "The kingdom of God is the redemptive presence and activity of God in human lives" It's God interacting with people to save, redeem, restore -- using circumstances, people • • 3. Over time, we have cluttered God's kingdom with the baggage of "church" = traditions Many customs = no meaning for many people, especially guests, unbelievers Church people = not explain why we do what we do -- "Always done it" = "Lutheran" • • 4. In effort to explain some "baggage", give it meaning, talked about Christmas Crismons For next few weeks, continue to explain traditions, customs = give them meaning Need help to understand why we do what we do = connect kingdom of God to baggage • 1. Before beginning, tie up loose end -- on Christmas, briefly referred to paraments Since they = change today, review: Pulpit -- Lectern -- Altar -- see again for Easter • • 2. A big piece of baggage that has hidden God's kingdom is divisions in the Church God = 1 kingdom -- Church = many forms, versions = denominations, interpretations 2 broad traditions: Church is also divided into "liturgical" and "non-liturgical" traditions • • • 3. "Liturgy" comes from Greek "Leitourgia" comes from "laos" + "ergon" = people + work Liturgy is the "work of the people", or the "public service" of Christians = worship Service Liturgical churches: Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican/Episcopalian, Lutheran Non-liturgical churches: Baptist, Pentecostal, Fundamentalist, Non-denominational • • • 1. Liturgical churches differ from non-liturgical in two ways: Sunday Service and architecture Sunday Service = later -- architecture = today -- liturgical follow floor plan of OT Temple Non-liturgical do not = "auditorium" -- Em, picture of temple flor plan -- EXPLAIN This = visually portrayed on bulletin cover -- EXPLAIN • • • 2. Corresponding to this, liturgical churches = similar 3 part floor plan Nave: where people make their sacrifices = praise, listen, offerings, participate Chancel: where pastor serves people with God's Word = readings, sermon Sanctuary: from where people receive Christ's body and blood = God's real presence A. A. A. B. B. B. • • • 3. In temple, altar = courtyard for sacrifices -- in church, altar = sanctuary for God's presence In temple, veil separating Most Holy Place = torn in two when Jesus died = access to God In church, altar = visible, not veiled = symbol of God's presence, direct access to God In church, altar = symbolic connection between God, people -- He serves, we sacrifice CONCLUSION 1. In church, the altar symbolically replaces the Ark of the Covenant and the Mercy Seat • Like Ark, Seat: It reminds us that God is among us and present with each of us = focal point • When He = in temple at 12, did Jesus know all this = happen? -- did He like it? -- don't know • Did He know we = keep so much OT stuff, modify it? -- did He approve? -- don't know • 2. What He did know: He had to be in the temple, "My Father's house" -- talking with elders Broader answer: "I have to be about My Father's business" = suffer, die, rise again = to bridge gap, tear veil between God, people -- probably = some indication of that at age 12 What we = know: When you come to church and see the Altar, you have access to God • • • 3. Nothing stands between you and God -- no curtain, person, rules -- Jesus opened the way When you come up to the altar for Communion, you are in His presence -- He is in our midst He is feeding us with heavenly, divine food -- You may depart in His peace, strength, joy That = meaning of floor plan, architecture = why we what we do •
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