At Zion we gather for worship at 9:00 AM every Sunday as well as for special services during Advent, Lent, and Holy Week.
The most precious gifts and treasures our Lord gives us are His forgiveness, life and salvation.
Through His innocent life and bitter sufferings and death, Christ purchased and won us from sin, death and the devil. Through Jesus Christ, all the sins of the world were paid for and the wrath of God was appeased. Christ has reconciled the whole world to God. Each Sunday, Jesus Christ serves us again as His Gospel is proclaimed, as His people are baptized and as His Word is read. He serves us as His forgiveness is pronounced and penitents absolved. He serves us as He gives us His body and blood under the bread and wine to eat and to drink.
Lutheran worship puts the focus squarely on Jesus Christ, who is present for us and with us through His Word and Sacraments.
Lutheran worship is, therefore, Christ-centered, not man-centered. When we are gathered for worship, we are not contemplating some far-off Christ or meditating on abstract concepts, or pondering various principles for living. Christ is living and active among us, right where He has promised to be in His Word and Sacraments. He gives His gifts, and together we receive and extol them. We build one another up as we speak to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.
The phrase used to describe Lutheran worship is “Divine Service”. It is first and foremost God serving us with His gifts, and then our service to Almighty God in thanksgiving and praise for all He has done.
The Divine Service is a time to be set apart from the workaday world—a time to spend with our Lord. In the Divine Service we are gathered in the presence of the holy, almighty, ever-living God, as our Lord forgives our sins and gives us new life today, and eternal salvation with Him forever.
In Lutheran services, pastors and congregations sing or speak the liturgy back and forth or together. Congregational singing of hymns has always been a hallmark of Lutheran worship.
Our pastors wear special clothing called vestments. These garments cover the individuality of the man and emphasize the sacred duties of the office he has been given to carry out. Throughout the course of the church year, an appointed order of readings and prayers helps the congregation focus on the major events in the life of Christ and how those events affect us today. Preaching, usually based on the appointed scripture readings, is a hallmark of Lutheran worship, distinguished by a clear presentation of God’s Law and Gospel.
Lutherans may stand, bow or kneel at various points in the service to express reverence and devotion to the almighty Triune God. Pastors make the sign of the cross over the people, and the people may sign themselves with the cross at various times as well.
You will find in many Lutheran churches altars, candles, paintings, statues, crucifixes, symbols, stained-glass windows, processional crosses, banners, and other forms of art and decoration. All of these lend beauty, dignity and reverence to the service. They help us to focus our attention on Christ and His gifts.
As we find ourselves being gathered by our Lord for worship, we realize that we join our song with angels, archangels and all the company of heaven from millennia past who are gathered before the Lamb upon His throne and worship Him both day and night. As our Lord gathers us for worship Sunday after Sunday, we join the entire company of heaven in praising our good and gracious God. The saints on earth and the saints in heaven praise Him who is the beginning and the end, the first and the last, the Alpha and Omega, even our Lord Jesus Christ, who with the Father and the Holy Spirit reigns as one God, world without end.