One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. Romans 14:5
It was a piece of news that shocked the world!
Did you miss it? If so, here it is: on Christmas Eve, Pope Benedict XVI broke with tradition and celebrated midnight mass in St. Peter's Cathedral at 10 p.m. and not at midnight.
Papal spokesman, the Reverend Federico Lombardi told the Associated Press the decision was made because the Pope is tired from the many commitments he has had to fulfill at Christmas time.
When I read that, I laughingly thought, well, there's another tradition eliminated.
Then, after a few moments, I realized I once served a congregation whose Easter Sunrise Service was at 7:30 a.m. If the Pope had seen the worship schedule announcements for my church, he might also have laughed and said, "Those Lutherans -- there's another tradition gone out the window."
Let's see, midnight mass at 10 p.m., sunrise service at 7:30 a.m., preaching on a half-hour radio broadcast called, The Lutheran Hour -- truly, many of us have seen a lot of changes when it comes to our worship life.
Some of you sing the Savior's praises at an informal Monday night service in a storefront mission station, while others faithfully attend a high church service with full orchestra and organ. Some of you listen to a pastor who is garbed in beautiful robes and others love their pastor who owns a clerical collar -- but doesn't remember where he's got it stored.
We have seen many changes, but when it comes to the Lord, this has not changed: the Savior Jesus is still worthy of our prayers; He is still deserving of our praises.
We have seen many changes, but when it comes to worship, Christianity is not meant to be a solo affair. We still need to support others and let others lend their witness to us.
We have seen many changes, but the power of the Holy Spirit, the sureness of the Word and the Sacraments are still real and sure.
This is why on Epiphany, I would like to urge one last New Year's resolution: that we be faithful in our worship of the newborn King -- the Savior who has done all that is necessary to save us.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks that among the many changes of this world You have remained faithful and trustworthy. Forgive me when I get sidetracked, when I forget, when I push my worship to the back and refuse to follow the star. In this New Year, may I proclaim the Savior, the Lord. In His Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries