52 Trip Around The Sun The Community Lutheran Church
Sorry this report is so late. Christmas time visitors and much fun.
I arrived at – just to find the meeting times. The meeting was just starting. I had planned to go back home – bathe and dress more nicely, etc. I looked in a little – found dress to be very variable – and stayed – in colorful short sleeved shirt.
Pastor: “In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
Confession and Absolution
Pastor: “In Psalm 111 the psalmist says that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and that all who follow His precepts have good understanding. The truth is, however, that we have not faithfully followed the Lord’s direction, His laws and His will.”
People: “Oh, Lord, I am in need of Your salvation. You deserve to be feared. I have ignored Your will and Your wisdom and have chosen for myself what path I should follow. Forgive me. Save me, for You are God, and there is no other.”
Pastor: “In Christ you are found to be right with God. As a called and ordained servant of the Word I therefore forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
(This makes me curious – since the Eucharist (sacrament) is still to come. They must take a different view of its purpose from ours. Our view of this must have come from Joseph Smith, as I can’t recall from the Last Supper in the Bible any mention of forgiveness of sins. Someone correct me if you know more.)
Congregational hymns – sung with piano accompaniment)
Joy to the World. (I enjoyed the words “and heav’n and nature sing,” as these are the whole world’s words rather than our private Mormon ones. The view these particular words give make them my favorite of the whole song anyway, and I have wondered and discussed why we took them out. I’m curious to know if it was because of evolution and other scientific teachings – a repugnance at the thought that “nature” could “sing.” Both saints and angels, of course, can sing – they’re people. (If anyone knows when and why the change was made, I’d love to know.)
Hark the Herald Angels Sing.
Anthem: “Mary’s Song.” This was a contralto soloist – very good.
Holy Gospel: Luke 2:25-35
Our Gifts of Love (The collection)
“Let the vineyards be fruitful, Lord, and fill to the brim our cup of blessing. Gather a harvest from the seeds that were sown that we may be fed with the bread of life. Gather the hopes and dreams of all: unite them with the prayers we offer. Grace our table with your presence, and give us a foretaste of the feast to come.”
The story of Simeon was told to the children who gathered at the front. It was told at a children’s level. (But this also will be the topic for the main sermon – I though it was very effective, as it laid out the story for the adults also – simply – with more detail to come later.)
Hymn: “Angels, from The Realms of Glory.”
Sermon: SIMEON Luke 2:25-35
I’m sure I’ve heard this story more than once, but it was not very familiar to me. Simeon was an old blind man, just and devout, who has a wish to see the savior. It was given to him by the Holy Ghost that he would see the savior before he died. He was able to hold the baby Jesus just before he died. (Jesus was eight days old – surgery time at the temple.)
The minister added something at the end. He said, “People think they can destroy Christians by killing them. There is a much more insidious way to destroy them. Simply convince them that Jesus is a wonderful guy – a healer – a spiritual leader – a prophet. Once they believe this, they are destroyed.”
“I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth. And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord; Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, Born of the Virgin Mary; Suffered under Pontius Pilate, Was crucified, dead, and buried; He descended into hell; The third day He rose again from the dead, He ascended into heaven And sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; From thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.”
“I believe in the Holy Ghost; The holy Christian Church, the communion of saints; The forgiveness of sins; The resurrection of the body; And the life everlasting. Amen.”
(Of the body?)
We then sang the Lord’s Prayer (familiar) as a congregation. Everyone sang this one more powerfully than the other hymns.
(The inner ring of each tray is filled with non-alcoholic grape juice.)
“The Lord gives into out mouths not only bread and wine, but his very body and blood to eat and drink, for the forgiveness of sins and to strengthen our union with Him.”
(But were not our sins just already forgiven above?)
(It must be in there somewhere for them to get it the same as we.)
Hymn: “This Is the Feast.”
Distribution: Each row goes to the front and each person is individually served by the minister, who declares for each one, “The body of our Lord and Savior.”
Silent Night and other Christmas carols are being played all through.
Another minister brings the wine and grape juice just behind, and declares to each one, “Take – drink the blood of Christ.”
(Someone wants to know – did Chuck take a cup from the inner ring?)
Benediction: Minister does large sign of the cross – and then says, “Now may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of our Heavenly Father be with you now and forever, Amen.”
Closing Hymn: “Brothers and Sisters in Christ.”
This was a very comfortable meeting. I haven’t been in a Sunday School discussion yet.
52 Trip Around The Sun The Community Lutheran Church