Monday, May 21, 2018

Language of Worship


Yesterday was Pentecost.  In our church, we celebrated with youth-led worship. Our Associate Pastor, Alan, said that it was an illustration of the breakdown of the language barrier that happened during Pentecost in the infant church. The older people in our church understand the language of traditional worship; the younger people among us would be sharing a more modern language of worship - one that they understand and that brings God close to them. And this day, Pentecost, is the day we strive to understand that.

It reminded me of when I was a youth at JM. We planned and executed a youth-led worship service, but the goal seemed to be to learn the traditional form and language of the adults in worship, and to demonstrate that we could plan worship in that style.

When I was a youth leader, the goal was different - help the youth to plan worship in their language, and help the congregation to understand that.

Yesterday, the congregation seemed to welcome the language difference with open arms - or at least I hope so. I hope we all grow enough to realize that God is brought close to each of us in different ways, and one of the best ways we love each other in worship - one of the most obvious ways God can inhabit our worship, is when we lift of the language of worship that reaches those we love instead of insisting that everyone speak the worship language that reaches us.

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Monday, May 14, 2018

First Fruits


He held the offering in his hand.
Wheat, first fruits from his field.
Looking at it, he remembered
the seed.
The promise of it.
The fear in it.
The possibility of famine or feast
that had rested in it.

He remembered throwing it into the field.
Praying for rain.
Praying for not too much rain.
Praying for sunshine.
Praying for not too much baking sun.

He remembered watching the tiny plants sprout,
hoping for growth.
He thought of plucking the wheat from the field,
the first to become fruit.
So far, it was the only to become usable wheat.
He had pulled it,
made a sheaf,
and brought it to the Lord.

He offered it to God,
hoping that his first fruit
would not be his last.
Praying that there would be enough.
Enough to feed his family
Enough for seed to next year.

His offering of first fruit
was an act of faith.
An act of obedience.
It was worship that beat back fear.
It was ritual that spoke of his faith in God.

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