Hopefully you've been with us each week in worship as we take a moment to train our children. If not, you can catch up quickly by teaching them this:
What is Worship
God coming to serve us through His Word and Sacraments - forgiving our sins, strengthening our faith, rescuing us from death and the devil. We (better put, our faith) receives these precious gifts and we respond in thanks and praise. Also, in worship God teaches us and we take what we've learned and go spread the good news.
How do we prepare
Before worship, we should be in prayer asking God to soften/open our hearts to receive His Word. We should remember our baptism and all the blessings God gave us in that wonderful gift. During the week leading up to worship we should be in His word and spending time in prayer as He wants to hear from us and speak to us to guide us each day in the path of righteousness.
Notice the acolytes who bring the light of Christ from the Ascension Candle to the altar, signifying Christ's presence with us, specifically in the bread/wine - body/blood on the altar. The acolytes are like guardians of the service...in the first centuries following Christ, followers would gather in secret to avoid persecution from the Roman soldiers. They needed light in the dark places (like catacombs) and needed someone to be on guard. The acolytes served these roles for those gathered in worship. Today they bring the light and serve and role models for us to follow in our worship.
As we now prepare to begin our worship service, the pastor steps forward and "invokes" or calls upon the name of God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) for "wherever two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them." Matthew 18:20. This is to remind us that God is present, as He promises to always be not just in worship but wherever we are thanks to our baptism (we are baptized into His name, so the Invocation reminds us also of our baptism). Since all who are gathered agree with this, we respond in unison by speaking/singing "Amen" which means "Let it truly happen" or "It shall be so"
Senior Pastor at St. Peters. God has given me a wonderful wife and 4 God fearing children. I graduated from Concordia St. Louis Seminary in 2009 with a Masters in Divinity.