Following the sermon, and usually just before or after the offering, we sing the Offertory, psalm verses in which we offer up to God thanks and praise for the salvation He has provided for us in Christ Jesus, His Son, and we devote ourselves to God and seek His help to live for Him. (Note: the Offertory was once connected to the offering of the bread and wine used in the Roman Mass but is not used that way in Lutheran Churches.)
The Bible tells us that Christ “died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again” (2 Corinthians 5:15). And, the apostle Paul writes: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:1-2).
Therefore, in thanksgiving for our salvation in Jesus Christ, we not only give to God offerings of money; we give and devote to Him our bodies and souls – our very lives – for His service!
We sing and pray the words of Psalm 51: “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit.”
Or, we sing the words of Psalm 116: “What shall I render to the Lord for all His benefits toward me? I will take up the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord. I will pay my vows to the Lord now in the presence of all His people … I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the Lord. I will pay my vows to the Lord now in the presence of all His people, in the courts of the Lord’s house, in the midst of you, O Jerusalem.”
[Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.]