22 - Why is the sermon so important?

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Every Sunday morning, God’s people gather together to receive the wonderful gifts of salvation. The gifts that our Lord has for us are delivered in different ways. One of these very important ways is the sermon.

Why is the sermon so important?
Some people don’t like the sermon. They think it is too long, or maybe it is too boring. Some people even try to think of other things while the pastor is preaching. When we are tempted to think this way, we must remember what the sermon is all about. In the sermon, the wonderful Gospel message of Christ and all that He has done for us on the cross is proclaimed. Through the sermon, the pastor brings this great message to people right where they are. Though we see and hear our pastor in the puplit, The words of the Gospel are spoken to us and all people by Jesus, saving all from their sins. Wow! What a great way to actually hear the voice of our Savior!


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Parents:
Before church, remind your children that Jesus speaks to them directly during the sermon. Let them know that the message is not just for adults, but for Jesus’ little lambs too! Encourage them to sit and listen to Jesus as he tells them the Good News. If they get lost in the sermon, comfort them by, after the service, explaining things that might have been confusing.

21 - Why is Confession so important to a Christian?

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Why is Confession so important to a Christian?
Confessing our sins is important! When we confess them, we see just how terribly sinful we are. We also know that sin brings nothing but eternal death and separation from God. When we confess our sins, not only do we see that we are sinful, but we admit to God that we deserve death and separation from Him forever. We are free to admit all of this to Him because we know that Jesus has already died and paid for all of our sins.

After we have confessed our sins, is there any hope?
After Confession comes Absolution, or, the forgiveness of sins! In Jesus we have the sure and true promise of forgiveness of sins. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Wow! Absolution is absolutely wonderful!


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Parents:
Before the service, read through the confession and explain the words that might be confusing. During the service, help direct your children to the Confession/Absolution as it happens. Remind them that when the Pastor is speaking, it is as if God himself is speaking these words of comfort to us.

20 - What’s a “Kyrie”?

What’s a “Kyrie”?
The Kyrie comes from the Greek words “kyrie eleison” (pronounced KEER-ee-ay eh-LAY-zon) which means “Lord, have mercy.” You’ve probably noticed that we sing this after we have confessed our sins and received God’s forgiveness. For example, look to see where the Kyrie is in the Divine Service.

Why do we ask the Lord to have mercy on us after we have already confessed our sins and been forgiven?
When we sing the Kyrie, we are not making a confession of sins. Instead, we are crying for mercy so that our God would hear us and come to help us in all times of need. It is the first prayer that we pray together in the Divine Service as God’s forgiven people!


Parents:
During worship, help your children to recognize the Kyrie and its place in our worship. You may want to practice saying “Kyrie Eleison” with them. After thay have mastered the pronunciation, praise them for having learned a bit of the Greek language!

19 - What is the “Sanctus”?

What is the “Sanctus”?
The Sanctus (pronounced sahnk-TOOS) is a hymn of praise sung during the order of Holy Communion. The word sanctus is the Latin word for “holy.” The Sanctus begins “Holy, holy, holy! Lord God of power and might: Heaven and earth are full of your glory.” We sing the same words sung by the angels in Isaiah 6, about the glory of our God who has come to be with us. Then we sing “Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.” These words from Psalm 118 were sung by the crowds when Christ rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.

Why do we sing the Sanctus?
The Sanctus proclaims that our Savior Jesus comes to be with us physically in His very body and blood for the forgiveness of our sins. He is really and truly present in the Sacrament of Holy Communion! When we sing the Sanctus, the angels in heaven along with those who have died in the faith join us in a hymn of praise to God. Wow! That is amazing!


Parents:
The Sanctus proclaims the presence of Christ in the Sacrament while praising God and confessing the unity of God’s Church in every time and place. Encourage your children to sing the Sanctus with the congregation. Remind them that Jesus is really here and that they are singing the Sanctus with people and spiritual beings they can’t even see!

18 - What is the “Prayer of the Church”?

What is the “Prayer of the Church”?
The Prayer of the Church, or the “general prayer” as it’s sometimes called, is the part in the service where the pastor leads us through a series of petitions, or prayers, with responses from the congregation. For example, after each petition the pastor may say: “Let us pray to the Lord,” and the congregation may respond with “Lord, have mercy.” See if you can find the Prayer of the Church in your hymnal. Try to find the other response that the pastor and congregation might say.

Why do we do this in the Divine Service?
Do you know anyone who needs praying for? Wouldn’t you like to have the rest of the congregation praying for that person too? During the Prayer of the Church, we pray for all of the people of our congregation, particularly those who are sick and shut-in. We also pray for our missionaries, for our government, for all believers and many others. No wonder it’s called the Prayer of the Church!


Parents:
Before the Divine Service, remind your children to pay close attention to the words of the prayers. Encourage them to join in the responses with the rest of the congregation. Try using these responses in your prayers at home.