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Divine Service: Preparation

Before you sit down for a meal in your house your mother spends quite some time preparing this meal.  Our Lord is also setting a meal before us which took a long time for Him to prepare.  Soon after Adam and Eve, our first parents, sinned, God promised the Savior.  Throughout the Old Testament, God continued to make similar promises. Finally, Jesus was born.  He taught men the great truths about God and showed them what God was like.  But that was not all.  In order to save us, Jesus suffered and died upon the cross. He also rose from the dead on Easter.  This was the great preparation of the Gospel Meal.

Now Jesus invites all to this meal of the Gospel, where He offers us forgiveness of sins, peace with God, power, and strength.  But we must come prepared.  When we come to the festive Meal of King Jesus, we must have on a festival dress.  Where will we get this dress?  When we dirty our clothes, it is not so serious.  These can be cleaned and they will look like new again.  But he who has stained his soul by doing what is wrong cannot cleanse himself; this only God can do.

We do not deserve to come to the Holy Meal, the Holy Communion, to which God has invited us.  We can, however, prepare ourselves for receiving His grace by examining ourselves and confessing our sins.  It is a wonderful thing to hear the Word of forgiveness when a minister of God, who in His Name, forgives us our sins.

“The Little Service Book” was written by the Rev. Berthold von Schenk (1895-1974), pastor of Our Saviour—New York, as an explanation of the Common Service for children.

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