Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Sermon as Love Song

(What follows is a part of some interesting and good thoughts by Rev. David Petersen, especially when considering the point of the Divine Service.  For the full article, please look here

The Service God provides (hence the German Gottesdienst and the English "Divine Service") to His people is the ultimate reconciliation, His re-communion with them, His entrance into their hearts by way of their mouths, which cleanses their lips and enables them once more to sing His praise and thereby expose what is now, by grace, by the Holy Communion, in their hearts. For it is what comes out of a man that renders him unclean or cleanses him. If we were to be crass (and since when has the Gottesdienst Crowd ever shied away from being crass?) we might say that the Holy Communion is make-up sex.

What then is the sermon? The sermon is the pledge reconciliation, the refusal to let the sun go down on one's anger. The Law is needed, for the beloved needs to know her crimes and how she has endangered Love. She needs to repent. But the conclusion is foregone. The sermon never serves divorce papers. The crimes are repeated, the beloved is exposed, but this not in malice but for edification, that she would learn, that she would grow. And what does she learn? Perhaps she learns something of what her behavior should be, of what her love for the Lover should look like, but mainly she learns how great, steadfast, and compassionate is the Love of Him who loves here perfectly and without end.

1 comment:

Rev. Eric J Brown said...

I personally love that "perhaps" in the last sentence. It's a great word, perhaps. It may happen, it may not. It's great if it does - but there is something far greater to be learned, to be seen once again.

The love of God for you in Christ Jesus.

How great is that?