This is an especially appropriate day to speak of our liturgy, because the psalm this morning in the sermon has the community worshipping God with their voices. In the same manner, in liturgy there is a community of faith speaking to one another. God calls, we respond together.
After being called, we are greeted. This is the purpose of the salutation. We begin our service in the Name of the Triune God. He is the great host of this celebration. Apart from Him we can do nothing…our worship is meaningless without the power of God to guide us.
Then we come to a universal greeting in the Church of Christ. The pastor hails the congregation with “The Lord be with You” and the people respond “And also with you.” This Hebrew form of greeting arises from God’s promise to be with us. We see this type of response throughout the Bible. In fact, by the end of the third century this greeting was universal within the Church of Christ. When the minister says, The Lord be with you, he is praying that Yahweh will bless the congregation under his leadership. Your response is to desire the same thing for the man God has chosen to lead His people. When you say “and also with you” you are affirming the pastoral office. In the salutation the pastor and the people of God are building a bond of trust. We are coming together declaring that we want to be renewed by God.
We conclude by stating that this service is only possible, because God has rescued sinners and brought them into His sanctuary. His power to create heaven and earth is the same power to help sinners.