Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Most of the Continuing Ed I go to is not of the ELCA variety. I am always looking for new and creative ways to use technology, build relationships, and worship creatively. Unfortunately, there is not much in those areas in Lutheran circles, so I search out other areas that I am not as theologically in tune with. And with most of it, I have no problems. Sure I have theological differences, and I have a hard time with their focus on eternity being so great that they really discount the kingdom of God coming to us here, but I can move past most of that and embrace what they are teaching. And when it comes to tech and video stuff, they are light years ahead of us. But when it comes to worship, well, that's a different story. Over the years, I have learned that what they call worship at these events I would call a concert. There is music, sometimes something that is singable by the audience, often times not, a preacher who prays for us, and more music. And that is fine. I like most of it just fine. But for me, it's not worship. Worship involves me, not praying for me, but praying with me. Not singing to me, but singing with me. It involves my participation. Otherwise I am just an observer. When it comes to worship I don't think any of us should be observers. Worship with God is relational, and to be in a relationship I need to be active, a participant. So ther first few worship sessions were exactly what I feared. Poor preaching, unsingable songs, and very little involvement by the congregation. But this morning was different. This morning Laura Story led worship. And it felt like worship. No,there wasn't any liturgy, but the songs were led well by her. Some we knew, some were new, but they were easy to pick up on a dn easy for someone like me to sing even. She preached, in her own way, and it was powerful. She sang her wonderful song, Blessings, to us, but then called us in to join with her in a call and response after it, and the you could just feel the Spirit moving at that time. It was wonderfully refreshing and what was needed to start the day. I love being surprised, especially in worship. And today was one of those days. So today I pray that you may be surprised, and filled, wherever you are.