LSB – A Tool

by Brenda Schmidt

Screen Shot 2016-02-19 at 9.04.41 AMI recently started to discover the wonders that are in the Lutheran Service Book (LSB), our hymnal. As a kid (using the blue hymnal, Lutheran Worship) I thought that the only things in the hymnal were services in the front and hymns in the back. I never took the time to browse and see what else was inside.

When I embarked on a mission to dig into our beloved Lutheran book of songs, I was happy to find that when the LCMS Commission on Worship assembled the hymnal, they didn’t just have a church service inside the sanctuary in mind. They packed it full of helpful tools that can assist you in your daily Bible reading and study. It’s even available as a download for your tablet or phone, so if you are using the daily lectionary as part of your Bible reading routine, you can easily access it anytime!

LSB PicYes, you read that right – daily lectionary. Before I started poking around the book, I thought that a lectionary was only for the pastor’s use on Sundays… but there is a daily version for you, too! It also corresponds with the lectionary your pastor preaches from on Sundays, so you can follow along with the church year in your own daily devotions. I’ve found this helps to dig deeper into the texts, since you will find themes running through your Bible reading at home and the paster expounding on these topics in the Divine Service.

Speaking of your personal Bible time at home, did you know the psalter is inside the LSB?  Rev. Kind has often said that the Psalms are meant to be sung, as they are the hymnal of the Israelites. Using the psalter in my devotions to sing the Psalms instead of reading them has greatly enriched my Bible studies at home, and I hope you are equally blessed if you give it a shot.

I was most surprised to find the small catechism in the LSB. At first I didn’t understand why it was there, but I have used it quite a bit since I started using the other resources like the daily lectionary and psalter. University Lutheran Chapel prints weekly catechism lessons in the bulletins, so once a week I take time to look those up and meditate on them without needing to go back to the bookshelf.

And when you get into an argument with your friend over whether Transfiguration Sunday was today or 3 weeks ago, you have a handy reference you can open that will solve the mystery. When you check out the lectionaries in your LSB, you’ll find that your friend’s church is not going rogue or making up their own church year; they are probably just following the 3-year lectionary instead of the 1-year lectionary.

There are so many great resources in the LSB that I don’t even have time to use it all like I want, but it quickly became my most useful tool in daily devotion once I started to explore it. I hope you also are able to utilize all of the wonderful things inside.

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