What is Divine Service?

“Where are you going?” Your neighbor asks on Sunday morning as you head to your car. Or perhaps this is a scenario that will come up soon for some of our members: You tell your coach, “Sorry, I can’t commit to Sunday morning games and practices because I have to be at ______.” What’s your answer to your neighbor? What’s your fill in for the blank in the coach? (Note: we do have Wednesday worship options available year round at Trinity for cases where Sunday morning commitments are split.)

I will never forget my first and only time in New Jersey. I was headed to my vicarage congregation in Connecticut for some reason I was going through New Jersey and for some reason I stopped at a gas station. I was probably low on fuel. Something strange happened in the land of leading zeros. I watched as a man approached my car he asked me what grade fuel I wanted and began pumping my gas. I couldn’t believe what was happening. I tried to tell him that it was not necessary, that I could handle pumping my own gas, but he wouldn’t hear it. He said it was the law in New Jersey. It turns out I couldn’t help myself, there are only full service gas stations in New Jersey.

So it is with our standing before God. So it is with church services where we receive service from our Divine Father. We cannot help ourselves. When it comes to a church service, it is a full service station and we can only receive! And what a gift it is to receive Jesus. John 1:16-17 says: And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. The giving of God is abundant and never ending. His fullness is overflowing like the table He sets before us. This Divine Service is good. This is an understanding that helps us as we often go through life feeling drained, feeling worthless, feeling empty, feeling lost, feeling useless. We are none of those things as we are filled with the love of God in Christ Jesus. The forgiveness of sins we receive in the Absolution and the preaching of the word and the life and salvation found in the washing of and the eating of the sacraments God gives fill us, make us worthy, and find us useful for God’s purposes.

Consider Trinity your Divine Full Service Station and fill up as often as you can. Pull in to a pew before you’re running on fumes. Top off the tank before you need roadside assistance. You will be receiving all that you need and encouraging your fellow believers on the way. So the next time your neighbor asks where you’re going on Sunday morning, or your coach hears you explain why you can’t be at practice on Sunday morning, tell them about the Divine Service that the whole world needs. Check back next month to find out what we do at the Service Station.

See you at the pump.

Pastor K