Sunday, August 5, 2007

Divine Service at ULC

This morning our family enjoyed a most edifying worship service here in Boulder, CO. Pastor Daniel G.O. Burhop, a recent graduate of Concordia Theological Seminary - Ft. Wayne, led the Divine Service at University Lutheran Chapel (ULC) and proclaimed a solid Law-Gospel sermon on the subject of prayer from Luke 11. His message specifically expounded the significance of calling God "Father," which he indicated is unique to the Christian faith. We call upon our God as Father because of the relationship we have with the Son, through whom we are made God's children.

Pastor Burhop reminded us that university chapels can still be liturgically faithful places of worship with distinctive Lutheran practice, and not the kind of glorified camp sing-a-longs which these places are tempted to become. We are blessed to have men such as this pastor and others like Pastor Marcus Zill up in Laramie, WY, who has been instrumental in spearheading the Christ on Campus emphasis of the Higher Things organization that specializes in ministry to college students. [You can read here of the activities and campus chapters associated with this great organization.]

My hope is that there are others like these, and that a return to faithful worship on campus chapels is increasing, not decreasing (which based on the above is obviously happening.) We are told of younger generations which desire a worship that is more historic and genuinely spiritual and not the dated preference of their Baby-boomer parents who are still stuck in the 80's with Easy Rock.

Lutheran chapels like these two in Boulder and Laramie deserve our support both in prayer and in dollars. Unlike regular parishes their congregation is largely a transient group of ever-changing students with limited financial resources. Support, I suspect, is largely dependent on mission money from districts, which is not always a secure source. For mission emphases can change with each convention and each administration. Perhaps now is the time for regular churches to start 'adopting' chapel ministries, especially those that are making a good faith effort to remain genuinely Lutheran.

So, thank you Pastor Burhop for feeding us spiritually this Lord's Day with the true Word and with the blessed Supper. We pray that the Lord blesses your ministry this coming Fall as the students return and you are faced with the challenges of reaching out to many who need the community of the faithful and others who still need to hear of the Savior.

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