31 December 2009

New Lutheran Quote of the Day

Our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, from our lips and our lives, is offered through Christ. He receives our prayers and offerings and renders them acceptable before God. Few of our people are aware that a real offering of ourselves, our souls and our bodies, does take place. Yet in the Offertory or General Prayer the sustained emphasis is on a Biblical conception of oblation, the offering of gifts humbly presented, bread and wine, silver and gold, one's own life and talents, to the service and glory of God's holy name. -- Ernest Koenker, *Worship in Word and Sacrament* p. 21

[Note: from the General Prayers I and 2: "Receive, O God, our bodies and souls and all our talents, together with the offerings we bring before You, for by His blood Your Son has purchased us to be Your own that we may live under Him in His kingdom." "Accept, we implore You, our bodies and souls, our hearts and minds, our talents and powers, together with the offerings we bring before You as our humble service." - Altar Book, p. 441]


Phil said...

Pr. Weedon

I've wondered whether parishes which practice the Elevation at the Consecration should consider not practicing a "Minor Elevation" of the offering plates, to avoid mixed signals. If our point is that the Elevation isn't a sacrificial act, why do the same thing with the offering when it is?

Just a thought.

William Weedon said...

Fair question. I will have to think on that.

Phil said...

I spent my time off for Christmas reading the Peters dissertation on the Nihil Rule. There's some interesting data in there on the Elevation, including multiple theories/explanations from Luther on the significance of the Elevation. (As you posted, naturally they don't necessarily agree 100%...) Some of them suggested that they originated in the "wave" offering, which he explained was acceptable because it was a thank-offering and not a propitiatory offering. It seemed to hinge on the idea [at least Luther's] that the Hebrews used to lift up what they had (first) received, in thanksgiving?

Anonymous said...

“Few of our people are aware that a real offering of ourselves, our souls and our bodies, does take place.” I have a little difficulty with this. Why a “real offering”? We know that we are “not our own.” Are we giving ourselves to Him Who already paid a price to own us? Where does Scripture say we should do this? (I am aware of Rom. 12:1) And what is this “real offering”? Since few are aware of it, is it one of the mysteries that is hidden from the “ordinary” people? Why do I smell a bit of the smoke from the fire of the sons of Aaron?

Peace and Joy to the few and the many in 2010,
George A. Marquart

William Weedon said...

It's right there in the prayers, George. I think that Koenker meant that at times we're inattentive to what we pray. Guilty! :)

In Scripture, this is the sacrifice of praise to God that we are to offer continually, which includes that "communicating" or "sharing" of the good things He has given us. Heb 13:15,16 and indeed especially the Romans passage you mentioned. We offer up our very bodies and souls as living sacrifices to Him, acceptable in Christ, and so all that is "ours" we confess as gift from Him and to be used for His purposes.

A blessed new year to you and yours, too!

Past Elder said...

I guess I'd get more into it if I had ever seen what is pictured in an LCMS church, ever.

Not saying that's good, or bad, just that it is.

OK it's bad.

Anonymous said...

"what is pictured"
Is "Past Elder" saying he has not seen the offering lifted up before the altar?
I have, by the Pastor if he receives it from the ushers, or currently, by the acolyte assigned to that task.
(Would that qualify as a "minor elevation", Phil?)


William Weedon said...


I was puzzled too for a minute. Then I realized he was saying there's little danger of confusing the offering "elevation" with the elevation at the Eucharist because he's not been in an LCMS parish that practices the eucharistic elevation. Hope you had a great Christmas, dear!

Past Elder said...

It's even worse than that. If my entire Lutheran experience were only LCMS, I would yet to have heard, and maybe even heard of, the Common Service be it in TLH, LW, or LSB.