26 May 2008

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

Man offers to God; this is sacrifice. God gives back to man; this is sacrament. The oblation, or thing offered, supplies both sacrifice and sacrament, but with this difference, that under the Old Dispensation, God received part and man received part; under the New, God receives all and gives back all: Jesus Christ, in His own divine person, makes that complete which was narrowed under the Old Covenant by the necessarily limitations of mere matter. -- C. P. Krauth, *The Conservative Reformation* p. 591


Anastasia Theodoridis said...

Man offers to God; this is sacrifice.

And this is why I am always puzzled when I (frequently) read from Lutherans that worship is all about receiving and NOT about offering God anything. Is it not both?

William Weedon said...

Yes, it is both. But of course, we begin with the realization that we can only OFFER what we have first received. So the accent is on God's giving first and last. And He continues to up the ante. He gives us wheat and grapes and commands us to bring Him in thanksgiving bread and wine. We bring Him bread and wine and give them to Him and He gives them back as His body and blood full of forgiveness, life, and salvation. Truly, "thine own of thine own we offer unto thee on behalf of all and for all."

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

We bring Him bread and wine, and our hearts and our lives and each other.

So even though it is certainly true that what we offer to God doesn't even begin to compare with what He offers to us, yet these are not unimportant, either. I think nobody ought to say worship is not about our offering God anything.

William Weedon said...

I really don't know, though, of any Lutherans who deny the idea of sacrifice in worship; what we stress is that the accent is always on His giving as prior in every instance to our sacrifice, which assumes the character of a joyful thanksgiving, a response to the gift bestowed. And yes, it includes exactly as you say, the offering of our whole lives, our very beings.