Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem.Â And he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, and walked in the ways of David his father; and he did not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.Â For in the eighth year of his reign, while he was yet a boy, he began to seek the God of David his father, and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem of the high places, the Asherim, and the carved and the metal images.Â And they chopped down the altars of the Baals in his presence, and he cut down the incense altars that stood above them. And he broke in pieces the Asherim and the carved and the metal images, and he made dust of them and scattered it over the graves of those who had sacrificed to them (2 Chronicles 34:1-4)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. While all religious people worship, it doesn't follow that all worship is in the Spirit and truth. Worship can be false if it's directed at a false god or to the true God in a false way. Only worship that is interchangeable with faith in God's promises, that is on the receiving end of God's blessings in Jesus Christ, can rightly be called worship in the Spirit and truth. And the thing is, worship in the Spirit and truth doesn't seek to earn God's favor. It revels in the divine favor that is already ours. True worship is not our reaching up to God; it's God's reaching down to us through the priesthood of Jesus. It's God drawing us into His death and life most definitely through Baptism, Absolution, and the Lord's Supper.
The worship of the Church doesn't begin with us, but with the One who is worshipped. It doesn't focus on our faith, but rather on the Object of our faith: the crucified, risen, and reigning Christ. A people who begin worship only with, "We make our beginning in the Name of the Father..." miss the point completely. Just as Josiah does, the Church begins Her praise and thanks with God, who has caused His Salvation to dwell among us in His Word, Jesus Christ. This God delights to serve us with the gifts of His salvation, Word, water, bread, and wine, both today and forever because His reward is with Him, and His work before Him. In the Name of the Father and of the Son + and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
The gifts are there each day The holy Word is read; God's children listen, hear, Receive and they are fed. Christ fills them with Himself, Blest words that give them life, Restoring and refreshing Them from this world's strife. (The Gifts Christ Freely Gives, LSB 602:4)