We run trends into the ground. It’s the same every time. It starts out new and exciting and before long it’s been done to death. It’s boring, unoriginal, and uninteresting, and you can’t help but roll your eyes every time someone tries to beat that dead horse one more time.
Most of you have been raised in the church. Here, if anything’s been done to death, it’s worship. We worship the same way, week after week, month after month, and year after year. Most of you haven’t had to look at the hymnal for years. You know what happens, there are no curve balls, and yes, you can even end up bored. Liturgical worship is done to death.
Yep. Our worship is done to death, but it’s not our death, and it’s not even the death of excitement. Our worship is done to the death of Jesus. And at the highest point of this worship, when we are blessed to stand in the very real presence of our Lord, when we come to the Lord’s own Table to eat His body and blood, Paul writes, “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes (1 Corinthians 11).” And we don’t just talk about it, Paul even says we participate in it. Our worship is done to the death of Jesus, and we take part in that week after week for the forgiveness of sins, for life, and for salvation.
When Jesus told us to do this “often”, it wasn’t for our entertainment. It was to give us what we so desperately need in this life. For in this life, there is no end to sin and suffering, or torments by the devil. Here, we regroup; we are given strength to go on, forgiveness for where we fall short, and life everlasting to look forward to because of what Christ has done for us. When Christ gathered His disciples in that upper room during Holy Week, it wasn’t to keep things interesting. The world is already all too “interesting”, as the disciples could attest to over the next few days. The Lord’s Supper was given for them, and is given for you to keep you steadfast, strong, and safe when life gets too “interesting” for its own good.
I thank God that His church isn’t just set up to run a new trend into the ground and forgotten every few months. I thank God that we receive the same help from God every week, because there hasn’t been a week that’s gone by where at least one of us hasn’t needed it desperately. I thank God that our worship is done to death, even if it is boring sometimes, because when we participate in the death of the Son, we also participate in His life. When we worship, we receive from God everything we need to keep us unto death in an all too “interesting” world, and unto life everlasting in the world yet to come. This lent, I hope you join us in participating in the Death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in you.