The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Worship concerns raised

Readers are offended when toddlers are refused communion

I read “Our common work” (February) with interest. I appreciated the idea that liturgy provides a framework for our worship and was interested in the biblical basis of words we use. However, I believe the article virtually ignores the role the Spirit plays in both liturgical and nonliturgical worship experiences. Time and again reference was made to the power of the texts and the words themselves to bring us into the presence of God—rather than their power to invoke the Spirit, which is what truly brings us into the holy space of worship. Finally I was incredibly saddened by the illustration of the toddler who was trying to partake in this holy experience. He was prompted by a deep need that reached out to Christ. But he was denied. He seemed to be the only one in worship that day who was completely prostrate to the moving of the Spirit rather than bound by the all-too-human rules of propriety.

Stephanie Luedtke
Berkeley, Calif.

‘Protecting’ God’s grace

The pastors in the church [who refused communion to the little boy] ought to read Mark 10—“Let the little children come to me ....” I am sure Jesus is still indignant with our “protection” of the grace of God. Shame!

Marvin J. Schumacher
Clarksville, Iowa

Who does understand?

I was astounded that a toddler was refused communion. Didn’t it occur to one of the pastors present to feed the little fella? Oh, but he wouldn’t understand the sacrament! Who does? How God can work in and through a bit of bread and a sip of wine to bring us such a blessing is a matter of grace. It isn’t dependent on my understanding. Strange how we insist on not qualifying baptism for infants but place limits on the Lord’s Supper. Are not both equally sacraments of grace?

Frank Brocker
Sunriver, Ore.

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February issue


Embracing diversity