I attended Holy Trinity church, served by Pastor Cwirla, today. What an amazing service. For those unfamiliar with Lutheran liturgical tradition, you should visit Holy Trinity -- the congregation adheres to it with passion and interest.
I completely broke down, crying, with a troubled spirit; I communed with the saints, and felt the Lord touch my life. Just simply wonderful. In retrospect, changes in my attitude alone in the midst of all of this seem remarkable to me. As absurd as it sounds, I came to church grumpy that my roommate and I didn't share the same ride to church; doing so, in my view, would have "saved time." Instead, he elected to drive with his girlfriend (-- and this made me angry?!?). I could barely pay attention to my confession and absolution. Scripture slowly worked its way in, and I was able to become aware of the gravity of my sins and the pains of my heart (this week, I broke up with my wonderful girlfriend of 2.5 years). I broke down. I sobbed, choked up; I tried to sing along with the hymns before I communed. Tears streamed down my face as I followed to the altar, knelt, and received the Word with the bread and wine with a heart that was as broken and contrite as ever I can remember. Furthermore, since I had not communed at Holy Trinity before, I was asked point blank, at the altar, by Pastor, what I believed -- and I confessed my faith in Christ, my baptism, and my knowledge of my own depravity. Simply recalling this series of events still evokes tears and a profound peace.
The Pastor gave an amazing exhortation concerning Christian freedoms -- free in Christ but slave to all -- but then had an even more fascinating Bible study.
I don't understand why his Bible study isn't jam-packed with interested parties. It simply astounds and amazes me that the two Bible studies that have blessed my life -- the one at Holy Trinity, and the one at Faith -- are not heavily attended by the congregants of each respective church. I simply do not understand why they would give up such an opportunity for learning and spiritual growth. I am personally excited and very interested in sharing this experience with others.
More than anything else, the lack of member attendance at these studies is... disturbing.