Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Goin' back to Houston, Houston...

What am I saying? I have never been to Houston before! We arrived last evening to 95 degree weather. But every place is air conditioned – some almost too cold, so a sweater or whatever is a must. But what hospitality! Everywhere you go.

Here I am at Partners in Evangelical Worship (PEWs) training. There are about 200 of us here at Christ the King Lutheran Church. It is a beautiful space, with lots of stone and lots of wood. The sanctuary just begs for people to sing. Even an unamplified voice can be heard clearly. So being gathered in a place with 199 musicians and pastors – well, you cannot imagine the sound! It is glorious to be in a place where everyone is gathered with one thing in mind – worshiping God. For those of us who lead worship week after week, it is a pleasant and re-freshing and re-vitalizing time, to worship the Lord with nothing else on our minds. As we were reflecting on our experience at the service of Holy Communion this afternoon, all those in my group (6 other people) expressed this feeling of being in the presence of God; that the Holy Spirit was at work; and that it was SO nice to be able to truly worship.

So it made me wonder what worship is like for those of you at home. What is your attiutude when you come to worship? Is it something you do because that is what you always do on Saturday night or Sunday morning? Or do you come expecting to feel the presence of God in church? Do you come prepared to worship, to participate in worship, to do the liturgy, which is, after all, the work of the people.

I wonder what would happen if each of us came to worship with a sense of awe and wonder, with a sense of excitement at meeting the Lord in this very place?

In my mind, I hear each voice singing praise to our God. I hear each voice speaking the words that we all speak week after week, but really thinking about their meaning so as to enable us to speak in a new way about our encounter with the living Christ in that very moment. I see a revitalized community, gathered in the name of Christ, with the very light of God on our faces. And I see us moving out into our greater community, glad to share the Good News with one and all, glad to love each person just as they are, glad to take a risk and reach out to others we meet.

Can you imagine what would happen in the world if every Christian did that?

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