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There are those who say that traditional worship is unemotional.  They describe the Divine Service as unfriendly rather than welcoming; antiquated as opposed to contemporary.

Well, I gotta tell ya.  Emotions are highly over-rated.  In fact, they’re fickle.  Experience proves I can’t depend on them to serve me well.  I might “feel” like praising God one day and “feel” inspired by those “feelings,” but what happens when I don’t “feel” like praising Him?  What “feeling” fills the void?

Once I better understood that I’m the one being served in the Divine Service, not the other way around, this “antiquated” service became very welcoming and contemporary.  Tied to this earth as I am, there is no other time when I stand in the presence of the Father, Son, Holy Spirit… and all the company of heaven.   It’s true that some of the hymns and responsive melodies flow awkwardly from my mouth, but the words are instructive and comforting for my life and soul — right here, right now.

The Divine Order of Service rescues me from my own fickle emotion.  Indeed, the Creator of emotion uses His Divine Order of Service to surprise me with joy and contentment.  Yes, joy and contentment are both emotions, but not ones that I stir up.  The Divine Service is not me doing something for God that I can “feel” good about; rather, it is God doing something for me.  He is serving me with His Word and Sacrament.  There is no disappointment when I don’t “feel” like I think I should.  Nothing is up to me.  The service of equipping and strengthening this cracked, but chosen vessel is all up to Him.

In His Order of Divine Service, God uses my pastor to serve me.  One morning, this became beautifully apparent at the Lord’s Table.

For most of my communing life, our congregation’s practice was use of individual cups.  I reached for the cup, then drank.  Today, my pastor holds out to me the Cup of Christ.  Once Sunday, while kneeling at the Lord’s Supper, my pastor stood before me.  I didn’t look up at the man, but saw only the hand of Christ around the Chalice.  For a brief moment, I experienced — yes! — an emotion.  I “felt” the presence of my Savior.  And, why not?  Isn’t my pastor a called and ordained servant of the Word?  Isn’t He Christ’s representative on earth?  No wonder  my pastor falls to his knees in humble prayer before each Divine Service.  He, a sinner too, is hardly worthy to stand before a congregation of sinners and pronounce much of anything.  Yet, in The Robe of Righteousness and with trust in the Divine, my pastor is called to offer forgiveness of sins and new life in Christ.

In that moment, with eyes focused not on mere man but the Hand and Cup of Jesus, I “felt” a bit like a woman at the foot of the Cross.   Will I have this “feeling” every time I kneel at the Lord’s Table?  No.  Human emotions are fickle; here one moment, gone the next. I can’t depend on an emotion.

But, I can depend on Jesus.  Emotions or not, the Blood of Jesus is given and shed for me.  It welcomes me, a poor miserable sinner.  It is cleansing.  Renewing.   Life-changing.  No matter if I muster up the praise… the thanksgiving… the righteous “feeling.”  The Lord Jesus serves me.

The Savior’s hand is always outstretched.  It reaches down to me in whatever circumstance.  His Word and Sacrament fill this fragile vessel and lift this cracked pot back on the journey.

Emotion or not, I’m welcomed.  Covered.  Served.

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