Number 2,104: Have you ever noticed how cozy Lutheran couples get in church? (Ok, ok. So this isn’t unique to Lutheranism. Don’t cramp my style here.) I love that sitting in a church pew draws couples together; that as soon as the sermon starts, women tuck their arms in their husbands’; that dads put arms around daughters; that children put their heads on their parents’ shoulders; that girlfriends put their hands in their boyfriends’ palms. You don’t see this anywhere else. It doesn’t work the same at movies or the opera. There’s something about pews, and churches, and time spent sitting quietly that brings people together. And I don’t believe that’s coincidence.
Reason 2,105: I love that the lonely are given families in the Church. This morning, I watched three widowed women sit in the front pew together, take the Lord’s Supper together, help each other back down the aisle together. The lonely are put into families, and because of Christ and His Church, they aren’t alone anymore.
Reason 2,106: The liturgy speaks when we can’t. When tears fill your eyes and you can’t see the hymnal, you know the words by heart. When a lump fills your throat and you can’t squeak out the words, you still know the words by heart. When you kneel at the Communion rail, ready to belt out the words that are sung by your departed loved ones around the throne, and then end up bent over and sobbing, you are singing together the words you know by heart. The liturgy, despite all protestations, actually allows you to feel, to be sad or grieving or joyous or content . . . all without missing out on being active in the Divine Service. No matter the feeling, and regardless of whether your body’s reaction allows you to read the words or join in the Nunc Dimittis or not, you still know it. By heart.
Reason 2,107: Just ’cause.
Hey, nobody said I had to be logical about these things.