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Omaha, Nebraska, United States
I am more and more convinced that most congregations die from a staggering lack of imagination. Let's change that. Drop me a line on email or leave a comment if you have thoughts on God, Jesus, congregations, the church or whatever.... I look forward to our conversations.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Liturgy and the Bible

This week I'm pondering a thought I read from the late Jaroslav Pelikan who noted that liturgy is trying to make contemporary the sacred text (that is, the Bible.) I like this for a couple of reasons...
First, I love to worship...I'm pretty sure that worship is how I got connected to my faith in Christ, and I know it's how I stay connected these days. Even when I'm up leading a liturgy (liturgy is the ingredients that make up worship), I still experience the mystery of God. I mean, it's hard to explain, but when you've heard a bunch of folks singing "This Little Light of Mine" with passion, it's tough not to get a teary eye or two. I love stopping myself in the middle of the Lord's Prayer to hear 100 people saying "trespasses," (because-- really, who uses that word anymore??). Worship and liturgy is fun for me...
Secondly, how is the Bible making sense for us these days? I mean, in our culture, for example, what does the word "divorce" mean? I challenge you to use "divorce" in a context other than marriage--tough to do; yet, it is a perfectly acceptable English word for break-up of ANY relationship. As when Kevin Garnett was "divorced" from the Timberwolves...(see, I told you it sounds stupid! Everyone knows he was traded!) So I'm going on the assumption that the Bible doesn't make too much sense for us anymore. (I'm watching Russell Crowe's "Master and Commander," and there's a subplot that one of the officers of the ship is cursing the entire crew with bad luck. Just like Jonah says one of the mates. They spend the rest of the time with this story telling us about Jonah--even going so far to have Crowe be handed a Bible opened to the book of Jonah after the officer has drowned himself. I love that kind of stuff in movies.)...Maybe liturgy can help make sense of the Bible--although story seems to be the preferred mode in the Bible itself.
Lastly, I'm looking forward to getting back into worship full bore. It's been about five years since I last was able to focus fully on worship in my life, and that's enough time to re-charge. Prairie Table is beginning to futz around with some worship stuff in one of our groups. If you're interested to see what we can come up with...we'll make sure people know when and where. See you around.

3 comments:

liturgy said...

Delighted to see emergent missional reflection on liturgy.
Please visit "Liturgy"
www.liturgy.co.nz
and maybe link?

Blessings

Anonymous said...

The idea of a more 'simple' worship service intrigues me.

I am a simple person...(not to the point of being 'daft', I hope), but rather more along the lines of not needing enormous and expensively decorated buildings to praise the Lord in a community atmosphere).

Why is it that more and more 'churches' seem to be out-building each other, out 'teching' each other, and becoming more like 'businesses'?

Why can't we get back to basics and and get close and personal to Christ and each other?

Again, I am intrigued by your blog......and in reading your thoughts am discovering many of my own.

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Why do we worry about making comments on buildings, programs, worship and other things that add meaning for many people in the way we worship? Why the need to put others down who choose congregational fellowship as a means to be closer to God? Some of us really like a corporate worship style that shares with children and others what "family" really is.