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Built on the Rock

This morning in worship we sang the hymn, “Built on the Rock” from Lutheran Service Book.  I love a variety of music in worship – traditional hymns, contemporary songs, liturgy I grew up speaking and singing, words that are new.

I was reminded how much depth is in hymns as we joined our voices together.  “Built on the Rock” is about the Church (not just the building, but the people who all together believe in and follow Jesus):

Build on the Rock the Church shall stand Even when steeples are falling.

Crumbled have spires in every land; Bells still are chiming and calling,

Calling the young and old to rest, But above all the souls distressed, Longing for rest everlasting.

The words in verse 4 explain why the front of the sanctuary (place of worship) is arranged the way it is and what each piece of architecture represents:

Here stands the font before our eyes, Telling how God has received us.

The altar recalls Christ’s sacrifice and what His supper here gives us.

Here sound the Scriptures that proclaim Christ yesterday, today, the same,

And evermore, our Redeemer.

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 As I sang the hymn, my eyes lifted to the nave (front) of my church.  I realized I saw what this verse of the hymn explains.

The baptism font is in the center, showing how I am able to enter into God’s kingdom through my baptism.  The altar (the table in the back), set for communion, reminds me of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross for me.  I have the privilege to partake of that at every opportunity and receive the blessings of communion — forgiveness of my sins and strength for my everyday life.  It doesn’t get any better than that!

From the lectern and pulpit (on the right and left), I hear God’s words to me from the Bible. These aren’t just nice words or old words that might have some old-fashioned benefit. This is God’s true Word, living and active, different from any other message in the world today.

There are many reasons I go to church. I meet God here. God tells me to go. I need it. Other Christians need my fellowship. Let’s be honest, sometimes I go because it’s what I’m used to doing, or because I feel like I have to.

Yet regardless of my reasons, what’s most important is that always — God meets me here.