Worship in Lutheran schools
Worship is the most obvious identification of a school as an authentically Lutheran school. (Read more) It is important as an expression of identity and ethos, even though there may be only a minority of Lutheran students and staff in the school. Most importantly, it is a channel for the Holy Spirit to work through the word of God to enlighten, sanctify and challenge the learning and believing community. (Malcolm Bartsch 2013 p244).
In preparing worship activities in the Lutheran school, staff and students need to keep the focus clearly on the central gospel message of the Bible. While the worship planned needs to be relevant to the particular context of the Lutheran school, it cannot simply present moralistic messages or ‘feel good’ experiences. The law and gospel message of the Bible, which convicts, comforts and challenges in the name of Christ, is to be central. While the Bible is not to be presented as some ‘holy book’ to be worshipped in its own right, it is God’s word through which he is revealing himself to his people and which they need to hear and recognise as such.
It will be important when reading or quoting from the Bible to draw attention to this and also to show how messages presented in worship are based on scriptural passages or texts. In formal worship settings where there is a worship table or an altar, an open Bible should be placed on the altar or table together with other worship aids such as candles or crosses. (Malcolm Bartsch 2013 p230)
Worship is the most obvious identification of a school as an authentically Lutheran school
Key aspects of worship in Lutheran schools
- Invocation (Calls to worship)
- Bible Reading ( Bible Gateway)
- Prayers ( Well known Christian prayers)
- Blessing (Blessings or benedictions)
Worship in daily life
As worship is celebrated in the various contexts in the Lutheran school, students will need to be helped to see how worship relates to the whole of their life as students.
Christian prayer is an important component of both communal and individual worship (read more). It is an expression of the relationship God has established with his people through Jesus Christ. It is a conversation with God which God initiates. Christians speak to God because God has spoken to them and invites them to speak with him (Kleinig: 151-217).
Lutheran schools provide a great opportunity to foster communal and individual prayer
A resource prepared in LEQ based on 'A God who speaks and acts' by Malcolm Bartsch