How to Become a God-Maker

Pentecost 14 Saturday

Psalm 50:23

“He who offers thanksgiving praises me; and there is the path for me to show him the salvation of God.”

Consider…that Christ instituted the Lord’s Supper for his remembrance, as he says:
“Do this in remembrance of me”…I am talking…about the benefit that Christ and God himself derive from it, and how necessary it is for his divine honor and worship that we use it diligently and honor it. For you hear here that he places his divine honor and worship into this sacrament, so that we are to remember him here. Yet what is
remembering him other than praising, hearing, preaching, lauding, thanking, and honoring his grace and mercy which he showed us in Christ? He directed and drew all his honor and worship to this Christ, so that he neither wants to know of, and recognize, any honor and worship, nor wants to be anybody’s God, apart from this Christ…If you wish to perform a glorious, great act of worship for God and honor Christ’s suffering rightly, then think and go to the sacrament where, as you hear, his remembrance is, that is, his praise and honor, and thereby carry out, or help to carry out, this remembrance with diligence… Such remembrance appears to be an insignificant act of worship because it does not require much outward splendor in terms of vestments, gestures, buildings, and other things that fill eyes and ears, but is carried out with the oral Word alone, which has a lowly image in the eyes of the world. Yet no eye can see, no ear can hear, and no heart can comprehend how high and glorious it is before God and his angels. God’s Word and works are at first always of lowly appearance. This is why they want to be considered diligently and earnestly. If you do that, you will find how great they are. He himself says in Psalm 50:23: “Thank offerings praise me.” By this he says: “Thank offerings give me my divine honor; they turn me into God and keep me God”…Now, if you want to become a God-maker, come and listen. He wants to teach you this art so that you do not make an idol but turn the true God into the true God–not that you should create his divine nature, for the same is and remains forever uncreated, but that you can make him into your God; that he may become a true God also for you, you, you, as he is a true God by himself. Yet this is the art, presented briefly and certainly: “Do this in remembrance of me”…I do not entirely reject outward adornments in church; I am just saying that they should not be called worship and that they should not hinder or obscure the true worship. Rather,
useful adornments should foster and advance this worship of thanksgiving or else
be damned with all other works and merit whereby people want to win or purchase God’s grace.

 

St. Louis ed., 10:2177-2181.

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