Immanuel. “God with us.”
We believe that in holy, Christian worship God comes to us. That is the heart of Christian worship. He speaks, we listen. In faith, we respond with “psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs,” in praise and thanksgiving, in heartfelt prayers and outward devotion.
We believe God comes to us weekly to save and sustain us. God speaks what is holy, just, and good in His Law, and we believe Him. We know that we have not kept His Law as we ought to keep it. We are sinners according to His Word. God comes to save us from our sin. He baptizes men, women, and children “for the forgiveness of sins.” He speaks His Word to us to declare us forgiven for the sake of His Son’s death for those sins. He feeds us the true body and blood of Christ in the Lord’s Supper to forgive us and sustain our faith.
The Scriptures tell us that we worship not only with the congregation members present but with “angels and archangels and with all the company of heaven.”
Thus, our worship reflects our beliefs.
Our worship is ordered by the Word of God. He speaks, we respond. He forgives, we rejoice! He bids us cry out to Him for mercy, we believe He gives it and sing His praises. Our liturgy is, in this way, divinely ordered.
So also, it is ordered around the means of grace. Baptism, which saved us, finds it home in the confession and absolution at the beginning of the service as we enter again His holy house with pure and clean consciences forgiven for Jesus’ sake. The service of the Word follows in which God speaks to us to guide, direct, admonish, and forgive. The Lord’s Supper comprises the final part of the service in which our Lord joins us in Holy Communion to Himself through His very body and blood. So our service is ordered around the means by which God gives His grace and sustains our faith.
We believe “God is with us” in worship. We call our congregation Immanuel. And our worship, His divine service to us, reflects this wonderful reality.