“O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise” (Psalm 51:15).
The word “worship” tends to encourage us to think about those things that we do for God: our acts of prayer and praise, our singing, and our offerings. But none of this would be possible apart from the Lord first serving us. Indeed, apart from Christ, we can do nothing. But when Jesus Christ Himself is present through His Word and Sacrament, and therein His Holy Spirit bestows on us His gifts of forgiveness, life and salvation, we can’t help but respond with praise, thanksgiving, and joyful service to our neighbors. The old German word “gottesdienst,” which is translated as “Divine Service,” captures this truth well.
Indeed, when God’s people gather together for worship at Concordia, it is the Divine Service, for it is God Himself who is present to serve us, His people. His servis calls forth ours, and it always runs in this direction. The Lord is the Lord who serves. And He serves us today through His holy Word and Sacraments. “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
Come and Visit!
Whether you’re Lutherans traveling through West Tennessee, are unfamiliar with the Lutheran Church, or are just curious, we hope you’ll come and visit. We trust you will be edified through the preaching of Christ crucified for you! Some people are most comfortable in more formal attire (suits, ties, and dresses, for example) while others dress in more relaxed clothing. Either way, the services are always reverent, Christ-centered, and the order of service is printed out so you can follow right along.
Children in the Divine Service
“Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God” (Luke 18:16).
Children are important members of our worshiping community—the Body of Christ! We are committed to incorporating them into the life and mission of Concordia and to nurturing them into an understanding of the gifts they receive from the hand of God in the Divine Service. We take our responsibility for helping to raise the next generation of God’s people very seriously.
Bringing children to worship will not always be easy, but it is an extremely important part of a child’s spiritual growth. Even infants learn “the rhythm” of our liturgical worship service, and all children learn from the example of adults what it means to worship God. We trust that, together, we can provide a positive experience for our young worshipers.
Guiding children in worship is a privilege! It can be accomplished in love so that the family is able to say: “I was glad when they said unto me, let us go into the house of the Lord” (Psalm 122:1).
Concerning the Celebration of Holy Communion (The Sacrament of the Altar)
The Lord’s Supper is celebrated at Concordia every Lord’s Day and on special feasts and festivals throughout the year. We believe, teach, and confess that, as He says, our Lord gives into our mouths not only bread and wine but his very body and blood to eat and to drink for the forgiveness of sins and to strengthen our union with him and with one another. Our Lord invites to his table those who trust his words, repent of all sins, and set aside any refusal to forgive and love as he forgives and loves us, that they may show forth his death until he comes.
Because those who eat and drink our Lord’s body and blood unworthily do so to their great harm (1 Corinthians 11:28-30), and because Holy Communion is a confession of the faith which is confessed and proclaimed from Concordia’s altar, any who are not yet instructed, in doubt, or who hold a confession differing from that of this congregation and The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, and yet desire to receive the sacrament, are asked first to speak with the pastor or an elder.
For further study, see Matthew 5:23ff; 10:32ff; 18:15-35; 26:26-29; 1 Cor. 11:17-34.