The Divine Service – The Pax Domini

Home > Newspaper Articles > The Divine Service – The Pax Domini

In the last article, as we considered the Words of Institution, we heard what Jesus Himself said of the Lord’s Supper: His body and blood distributed to repentant sinners for the forgiveness of sins. Those words of Christ, spoken through the pastor as God’s instrument, bring about the reality they speak of, just as God spoke at creation, “Let there be…” and it was so.

After the congregation hears these words of Christ, they recognize the reality that is present before them, God is there in a very real and present way. The Pastor then takes the elements and raises them toward the congregation chanting or saying, “The peace of the Lord be with you always.” The congregation then responds with an “Amen,” “that is, ‘Yes, Yes, it shall be so.’”

It can be easy to pass over this exchange without giving much thought to what is being confessed. Sometimes it takes the fresh eyes of a child to really put it into perspective. A couple years ago, my family came with me to visit a member who was not able to attend the service. We celebrated the Lord’s Supper on that visit. After the short service, my 3-year-old son asked, “Can I have some peace.” I told him that after he was properly instructed, he certainly would be invited to have “some peace” as he considered it. In reality, he did have the same peace, the forgiveness of sins, as everyone else since he heard it pronounced in the devotion. But he made the correlation between the abstract, “the peace of the Lord,” to the concrete, the elements of the Lord’s Supper. As we receive the Lord’s body and blood with the bread and wine, we receive the forgiveness of sins, we receive “the peace of the Lord.”

For him, this correlation was only possible because he had heard these words over and over again through the Divine Service. Though we had not explained this aspect of the Lord’s Supper or the liturgy to him, he learned it simply by being exposed to it, taking it in “organically,” if you will. This is one of the blessings of the Divine Service, it teaches by doing. As we mature in the Christian faith, we begin to see the value of such a liturgy because we continue to see more and more parts of the Service doing for us already what we are continually learning we are called to do: repent of our sins, receive God’s grace and forgiveness, hear His Word, respond to God’s forgiveness and mercy by our confessions of faith, our prayers, and our thanksgivings, pray for the needs of others, and being continually strengthened and nourished to love for God and good works for our neighbors, and doing so in “the peace of the Lord.”

 

Rev. Gullixson is the pastor at Our Savior Lutheran Church at 162 Sneden Street. The Divine Service begins at 9:30 AM every Sunday. To speak with Pastor Gullixson, please call (760) 873-6589.