The Way of Love - Worship
In our Fall theme of “The Way of Love” we cycle into the idea of “Worship.”
Within the context of this Way of Love Rule of Life (Turn Learn Pray Worship Bless Go Rest) stressed by the Episcopal Church since 2018, focus is on the times we intentionally come together to be in relationship with each other and the Divine.
Worship can be highly structured, very “Rite” oriented and formal. Or it can be simple and unstructured. Or anywhere along the continuum from complex to simple. Generally, definitions for worship include ideas such as reverence, adoration, honor, respect, devotion, expression. Human beings have been involved in worship since the beginning of time. There is something about being human in this mystery we call life that stirs us to orient to something to which we assign power and assume it has influence over us and within our and others’ lives. A God, a Deity, an Object – to which we assign sacredness, specialness.
Worship has to do with our relationship with that Power. We certainly can do this individually. However, there is something about worshipping something more powerful than we are that encourages us to do so communally – gathering with others to do this.
Our Sunday morning worship service has become the most obvious form of worship for Christians. In the Way of Love Rule of Life this is what is offered on Worship. “When we worship, we gather with others before God. We hear the Good News of Jesus Christ, give thanks, confess, and offer the brokenness of the world to God. As we break bread, our eyes are opened to the presence of Christ. By the power of the Holy Spirit, we are made one body, the body of Christ sent forth to live the Way of Love.” Sounds like Sunday mornings, doesn’t it?
What a challenge this last six months has been. Our formal sanctuaries are still vacant. I think they are lonely without our bodies, our voices, our coming and going. They miss us as much as we miss them. But we know, somewhere deep inside our beingness, that the Divine we worship is not contained in any single sanctuary, and certainly not just for a Sunday morning hour or more in such a place. God is everywhere with us. We can reverence, honor and commune with God anytime, anywhere. The tougher part is gathering with others to do this during this pandemic time. But when things get tough, we got creative. And we have slowly but surely worshiping virtually. The sounds and sights of our gatherings and our worship times together are carried by sound and light waves, through the air waves. The physical distance may be great but the distance between hearts offering love to each other and reverent time with the Divine who binds our hearts and souls into the one body we call the Church and we know as Christ.
The days ahead and the timing for gathering again in the sanctuaries of N. Farnham and St. John’s are not as clear as any of us would like. But that time will unfold and not only Divine Love, but our dear old churches will gather us in and will enfold us once again. What a joy filled thought! Meanwhile we will embrace liturgical colors of fall leaves and ripening fields as their seasonal hangings make brilliant Creation’s sanctuaries and grace our outdoors services to come for a little while longer.