“In faith in You, and in fervent love toward one another”

We conclude our series on The Narrative Commentary to the Divine Service by John Pless with what he says about the conclusion of the service:

POST-COMMUNION CANTICLE, PRAYER

Having received the Lord’s Body and Blood for our salvation, like Simeon who held in his arms the Savior of the world, we go in peace and joy singing Simeon’s Song from St. Luke, Chapter 2. Another song of thanksgiving based on 1 Chronicles 16:8-10 may be used instead. Before we leave the Lord’s Table, we give thanks, asking that the salutary gift of Jesus’ Body and Blood would have its way in our lives, strengthening us in faith toward God and fervent love toward one another. The Sacrament draws us outside of ourselves to live in Christ by faith and for the neighbor by love.

BENEDICTION

The Name of the Lord is the beginning and the end of the Divine Service. We are now marked with the Lord’s Name in the Benediction-that word of God’s Blessing from Numbers 6 in which He favors us with His grace and peace. With the Lord’s Name given us in Holy Baptism we were drawn together. Now with that same Name, He sends us back into the world, to the places of our various callings to live by the mercy we have received as living sacrifices to the praise of His glory and the good of our neighbor. To this benediction you add your Amen, declaring blessing received.

via Grace Lutheran Church – Pastor’s Letter – April 2010.

Notice how many allusions there are to the doctrine of vocation.  I have heard Prof. Pless explain elsewhere that the closing prayer about “faith in You and in fervent love towards one another,” which was Luther’s phrasing, is a direct reference to vocation.  At the close of the liturgy, in which we find forgiveness for our sins and grow in our faith, we are sent back out into our various callings to live out that faith “in love and service to our neighbors.”

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Thanks for this wonderful series, Dr. Veith.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Thanks for this wonderful series, Dr. Veith.

  • bunnycatch3r

    like Simeon who held in his arms the Savior of the world…

    I’m fascinated by this imagery. We don’t normally get to reflect on Jesus the newborn except for at Christmas. Here he is little more than a promise or a potential or do I go too far to say something we nurture?

  • bunnycatch3r

    like Simeon who held in his arms the Savior of the world…

    I’m fascinated by this imagery. We don’t normally get to reflect on Jesus the newborn except for at Christmas. Here he is little more than a promise or a potential or do I go too far to say something we nurture?

  • –helen

    No, He nurtures us (as Luther wrote) “with all that we need to support this body and life”.

    He gave Simeon all that he needed to depart this body and life just by being with him. (He does the same for us.)

    ‘Jesus the newborn’ is true God even then.

  • –helen

    No, He nurtures us (as Luther wrote) “with all that we need to support this body and life”.

    He gave Simeon all that he needed to depart this body and life just by being with him. (He does the same for us.)

    ‘Jesus the newborn’ is true God even then.

  • bunnycatch3r

    He gave Simeon all that he needed to depart this body and life just by being with him.

    /like

  • bunnycatch3r

    He gave Simeon all that he needed to depart this body and life just by being with him.

    /like

  • Porcell

    Testing

    Sg, to do a link, use the following between the brackets:

    [Here]

    you copy the WWW address between the two quotation marks and either leave the “Here” or replace it with other words. You can do a test by practicing on a previous thread that is inactive.

  • Porcell

    Testing

    Sg, to do a link, use the following between the brackets:

    [Here]

    you copy the WWW address between the two quotation marks and either leave the “Here” or replace it with other words. You can do a test by practicing on a previous thread that is inactive.

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