"And the ransomed of the LORD shall return and come to Zion with singing.” Isaiah 51:11
CHRIST-CENTERED NOT MAN-CENTERERD
Worship at Zion is reverent because our focus is on Christ and His finished work for us on the cross. We also believe that our crucified and risen Savior, Jesus Christ, is truly present in Word and Sacrament. Worship is where God comes to us to offer forgiveness of sins, and where we respond in thanksgiving. As such, we don't attempt to impose our own cultural and emotional preferences onto it, nor do we try to remake it in our own image.
SACRED NOT SECULAR
We follow the historic liturgy, which consists of the Lord's words. The church's liturgy both connects us to those saints who came before us and also unites us with the saints within Christendom throughout the world. The blessed "sameness" of the liturgy allows our little ones and our elderly alike to learn it by heart, allowing them to worship though they are not able to read or no longer able to see. We all have our "favorite" parts of the Bible, and left to our own devices, there are probably parts that we would neglect. The liturgy and appointed readings for each Sunday help to ensure that we continue to see Christ throughout the entirety of God's Word. This applies also to our hymnody, which seeks to be heavenly or "other worldly" in regards to text and tune.
SACRAMENTAL NOT SACRILEGIOUS
We believe that God works through means. From our Father through the Son by the Holy Spirit, God delivers His holy gifts through Word and Sacrament, so you'll notice that the highlights of our services are the Scripture readings and the Lord's Supper. Everything we do is directed toward and focused on these two points.
For a more eloquent explanation of why we do what we do here at Zion, see the explanation of worship below from the Rev. Dr. Norman Nagel:
"Our Lord speaks and we listen. His Word bestows what it says. Faith that is born from what is heard acknowledges the gifts received with eager thankfulness and praise. Music is drawn into this thankfulness and praise, enlarging and elevating the adoration of our gracious giver God.
Saying back to Him what He has said to us, we repeat what is most true and sure. Most true and sure is His Name, which He put upon us with the water of our Baptism. We are His. This we acknowledge at the beginning of the Divine Service. Where His Name is, there is He. Before Him we acknowledge that we are sinners, and we plead for forgiveness. His forgiveness is given us, and we, freed and forgiven, acclaim Him as our great and gracious God as we apply to ourselves the words He has used to make Himself known to us.
The rhythm of our worship is from Him to us, and then from us back to Him. He gives His gifts, and together we receive and extol them. We build one another up as we speak to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Our Lord gives us His body to eat and His blood to drink. Finally His blessing moves us out into our calling, where His gifts have their fruition. How best to do this we may learn from His Word and from the way His Word has prompted His worship through the centuries. We are heirs of an astonishingly rich tradition. Each generation receives from those who went before and, in making that tradition of the Divine Service its own, adds what best may serve in its own day the living heritage and something new."
(from the Rev. Dr. Norman Nagel’s introduction to Lutheran Worship)