The Gottesdienst or liturgy

BJ Bear

Well-known member
A friend of mine, a theology prof, has said throughout the years that Gottesdienst doesn't translate well into English. One common English translation is Divine Service.

The point is that it intends to reflect what God works in the service. That is the primary aspect of the service rather than what the congregation does in the service. Christ is present in the service through the word and the sacraments of Holy Communion and Holy Baptism.

So when we speak of the service we sometimes speak of which way the arrow is pointing, that is, are we speaking of what God works in the service, in that case the arrow is pointing down, or are we speaking of the response of the congregation to that work of God, in that case the arrow is pointing up.

This brings us to why some object to the liturgy and what occurs in baptism and communion. Liturgy, the word as adapted by Christians, refers to what God is doing in the service through the word and sacraments rather than a set of prescribed actions by the congregation.

Liturg,y according to Thayer, is properly a public office which a citizen undertakes to administer at his own expense. After adaption by the Christians it refers to God as the one working at His own expense, the Son, in the service for the sake of the congregation. Subsequently the congregation receives this work through faith and responds accordingly.
 
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Nic

Well-known member
A friend of mine, a theology prof, has said throughout the years that Gottesdienst doesn't translate well into English. One common English translation is Divine Service.

The point is that it intends to reflect what God works in the service. That is the primary aspect of the service rather than what the congregation does in the service. Christ is present in the service through the word and the sacraments of Holy Communion and Holy Baptism.

So when we speak of the service we sometimes speak of which way the arrow is pointing, that is, are we speaking of what God works in the service, in that case the arrow is pointing down, or are we speaking of the response of the congregation to that work of God, in that case the arrow is pointing up.

This brings us to why some object to the liturgy and what occurs in baptism and communion. Liturgy, the word as adapted by Christians, refers to what God is doing in the service through the word and sacraments rather than a set of prescribed actions by the congregation.

Liturg,y according to Thayer, is properly a public office which a citizen undertakes to administer at his own expense. After adaption by the Christians it refers to God as the one working at His own expense, the Son, in the service for the sake of the congregation. Subsequently the congregation receives this work through faith and responds accordingly.
Nice post BJ.
Another abbreviated way we also sometimes view the down from heaven arrow would be we go to Divine Service to receive good things from God; namely forgiveness of sins through Word and Sacrament. We also have an upward pointing arrow to glorify God as my pastor pointed out to me when I was attempting to show a distinction between Lutheran worship and the Reformed. He said it's both as you indicated in your second paragraph.

Nic🙂
 

BJ Bear

Well-known member
Nice post BJ.
Another abbreviated way we also sometimes view the down from heaven arrow would be we go to Divine Service to receive good things from God; namely forgiveness of sins through Word and Sacrament. We also have an upward pointing arrow to glorify God as my pastor pointed out to me when I was attempting to show a distinction between Lutheran worship and the Reformed. He said it's both as you indicated in your second paragraph.

Nic🙂
Unoriginality is sometimes overlooked and underrated. :)

An irony in this regard is that those who don't recognize God's work in the service to and for His people, or don't appreciate the effect it has upon His people, have consequently adopted a modified RC monastic view of the world. They value this or that work "for" God above another, that is, this or that work is more holy and good than another.
 
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