Concordia means harmony. As a pastor and a musician, I have a dual appreciation for the term. Harmony is beautiful. So is unison singing, but not if all singing is exclusively and only unison (as Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the editors of both Lutheran Book of Worship and Lutheran Worship may have intended).
In my service to the Lord I have served three congregations and have observed three different, yet similarly faithful practices of close(d) communion.
What do these two preceding paragraphs have in common?
Harmony. Concordia. Walking together.
And so I propose the following ideas as part of our way forward, Toward Concordia in Christ at Worship.
We could word that goal in two possible ways:
- A Unison Theology in a Harmony of Faithful Practices
- A Unison Doctrine Sung in a Harmony of Faithful Practices
This is not to say that anything and everything need or ought be tolerated. By no means.
Though some may deny or doubt it, pastors and laity in our LCMS have noted differing theology and different practice in their travels. We must acknowledge that first. We ought to have more circuit, district, and Synod-wide theological discussions and studies. We should be slow to judge unfamiliar practices, but ask questions, engage in earnest and honest conversation, pray, and in humble response to the Word, the mind of Christ, hopefully come to mutual understanding.