At Gift of Grace Lutheran Church we have pledged ourselves to being faithful to the Scriptures as God’s Word. Accordingly we hold to the time-honored teachings of the Church based on Holy Writ. These teachings are reflected in the Ecumenical Creeds of the Early Church, namely the Apostles’, Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds. We also believe that the Lutheran Confessions give faithful witness to the teachings of the Bible.
The Apostle Paul will encourage a young appointed elder by the name of Timothy to guard “the deposit entrusted” to him. (cf. 1 Tim. 1:20; 2 Tim. 1:14) This deposit is the Christian Faith. Paul will then encourage Timothy to pass this deposit on to faithful teachers who themselves will be able to pass it on to others. (2 Tim. 2:2)
Time-honored teachings! Dogma! There is tension here with modern sensibilities in our culture! Commercially we have been inundated with advertisements touting products that are “new and improved”. In entertainment we look for novelty and creativity. And with great scientific and technical advances we mistakenly regard earlier ages as unenlightened, superstitious, and dark.
Whether spoken or not, the underlying assumption of many unbelievers is that with our greater knowledge today, teachings put forth two thousand years ago have been outgrown.
Liberal Christianity can be understood as an attempt to force our modern-age “enlightened understanding” into the molds formed by earlier Christian teaching. Here inspiration gets reduced to some general principles, but particular commandments, instructions, admonitions, and promises can be dismissed as being off the mark. The idea of Divine Revelation also is diminished from a “Thus saith the Lord,” to “This reflected the best understanding of the time.”
This is what we are up against. And it is why we need to proclaim and teach Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God. If the Son of God indeed became human, died and rose again, then it does not matter what age he spoke in. He speaks from infinite wisdom and knowledge. He speaks truth! He is the truth!
Since You Asked…
Why do we stand during the reading of the Gospel Lesson?
By standing we are giving expression of special respect and adoration. In the Gospel Accounts we meet our Lord Jesus Christ in a special way. In these writings we are presented with Jesus’ Judean and Galilean ministry. We also have a record of the very words of our Lord (his teachings, parables, dialog, etc.). We hear the accounts of Jesus’ death and resurrection, the work of our salvation.
Although the entire Bible is the Word of God, it is in the Gospels that our Lord is most directly presented to us. So you might say that Christ himself is being presented before us in the Gospel Lesson. It is therefore most appropriate that we stand at attention.