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September 4, 2010

Church @ 5

by Rev. A. J. Iovine

This week while in Minnesota, I had a nice meeting with one spouse of a couple I am attempting to counsel through the early part of their marriage. Of course, this is a long distance pastoral relationship since neither one are from the New Jersey Tri-State area. It is always good to see at least one part of the couple face to face.

Regardless of our meeting (imagine – marriage counseling while feeding a petting zoo version of a cow), one topic did arise — my church’s Saturday night worship service.

I had to admit that it is very hard to get Lutherans to understand that worshipping on Saturday night is not a bad thing; in fact, if one is going to miss Sunday morning worship, coming to church on Saturday evening is pretty great alternative to NOT going to church on a particular weekend. Sometimes, my Saturday service is populated by just me.

Even when we have slightly better attendance — i.e., one person — we still go through our spoken Saturday Divine Service. No one gets gipped if there is no music. The sermon is still the sermon. The Lord’s Supper is still the Lord’s Supper. God’s Word is still God’s Word.

When I said this to the spouse I met, it exhibited a nice remark:

“I like that. Your church makes time for people to worship God. I like that.”

I’ll be at Saint Matthew’s this evening at 5, whether I am alone or not, is strictly up to you.

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