For confessional Lutherans, liturgy is not about human activity but about the real presence of the Lord who stoops down to put His words into our ears and His body and blood into our mouths. Liturgy, as it is divine service, delivers the forgiveness of sins. The liturgy does not exist to provide edifying entertainment, motivation for sanctified living, or therapy for psychological distresses, but the forgiveness of sins. In his treatise “Against the Heavenly Prophets,” Luther writes “If I now seek the forgiveness of sins, I do not run to the cross, for I will not find it given there. Nor must I hold to the suffering of Christ as Dr. Karlstadt trifles, in knowledge or remembrance, for I will not find it there either. But I will find in the sacrament or the gospel the word which distributes, presents, offers, and gives to me that forgiveness which was won on the cross” (AE 40:214). In the liturgy, God Himself is present to forgive sins.
John T. Pless, DIVINE SERVICE: DELIVERING FORGIVENESS OF SINS – HT: Donavan Riley – The First Premise – published 8/21/2013.