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Christ in Our Worship

John W. Kleinig

The Lord be with you

Luther describes the congregation’s vision of God in the Divine Service most vividly in a sermon on Jn 3:22-25. He speaks about the seeing that comes from the sacramental enactment of God’s Word. After telling of God’s provision of signs in addition to his Word for his people in the OT to behold God’s love with their physical eyes, he concludes:

In our day, in the time of the new Testament, God has given us Baptism, the Sacrament of the Altar, and absolution to bring Christ very close to us, so that we can have Him not only in our heart but also on our tongue, so that we can feel Him, grasp Him, and touch Him. … To make it possible for us to recognize Him, God presents Himself to us perceptively and clearly in signs. … Thus we perceive God not only in our hearts but also with our eyes and our hands, for He gives us a tangible and visible sign of Himself. … He wants to come to you, plant Himself before your very eyes, press Himself into your hands, and say: “Just listen to Me and take hold of Me, give Me eye and ear; there you have Baptism and the Sacrament of the Altar. Open your mouth, let Me place My hand on your head. I givde this water which I sprinkle over your head.” (AE 22:420-21)

John W. Kleinig Concordia Commentary: Hebrews 630 (footnote #79)

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