Sunday, November 10, 2013

When worship is...

Today, I was with my KC family as they observed All Saint's Day a week late. As a church that lives in the lectionary cycle, they kept the appropriate readings for this date, just used them as the leaping off place to honor those who have left this earthly life. I appreciated the worship experience on a number of levels - it was meaningful ritual, it was the right observation in the rhythm of the year, it was authentic. 

As I let hymns and prayers and responses and candlelight wash over me, I pondered why this feels right to me.

And I recognized this: I am a creature with rhythms. I sleep and wake in rhythm. I eat, exercise, work, recreate in rhythm. The seasons change around me in an observable pattern. And from a faith perspective, my relationship with God is rooted in a story that has a rhythm, seasons, holy days, rites for times of life and times of year and days of week and times of day.

And I am grateful for that rhythm. 

Here in the time of year when the days shorten and the air grows cold, I know that I will recognize the power of life over death, the reign of Christ over the reign of any human-alone, the power of watching and waiting and recounting the story of a prophecy and a young girl and a frightened fiancé, of a baby born who would and continues to change the world with love and a vision of how it can all be different.

And maybe rhythms don't matter to everyone, but they do to me. Today at KC, Carol played familiar hymns on the piano and I knew where the highs and lows would be, I knew the words, in some cases I knew the harmony and the descant, and all of that was comfortable and comforting and allowed me to be fully present with God and those that surrounded me. The preaching was prophetic and scriptural lay rooted and sound. 

I think we learn from and are shaped by rhythms and patterns, and that good formation is rooted in patterns that we can rely upon while we move out from a comfortable center to explore our growing edge. I pray for the centeredness and vision to help others find and celebrate rhythm and form in a life-giving, meaningful way.

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