Luke 22:19: When Jesus had taken bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, Take, eat. This is my Body, which is given for you

One of the central things I have taught over the last decade is that worship is the Lord’s service. It is not primarily our service to God. It is first and foremost His service to us.

The Triune God is the God of gifts. He is a community of giving in Himself, Father, Son, and Spirit joined in mutual, loving service. We exist because God is a God of gifts. He gave being to all things at creation, and gave Himself on the cross.

We don’t have the liturgy we have because it is aesthetically pleasing, or because it is traditional. The liturgy is not an inert form or dead structure that needs to be brought to life. Liturgy is the form of God’s self-giving as words are the form of His communication.

Everything in our liturgy is God’s work for and in us. We wear robes because we bear the authority of Jesus to speak and act in His name. We wear white robes because we are commissioned by heaven, and white is heaven’s color of choice.

God’s call, God’s absolution, God’s word, God’s food, God’s blessing, done through God’s servants: All of it is God’s service to us, as He gives Himself to us in Word and Sacrament.

Today He gives Himself again, so that we might become like Him. Trust Him, receive His gifts, humble yourselves to be served by the God of infinite humility, who comes today as He did in the flesh not to be served but to serve.

Articles by Peter J. Leithart

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