Timeless Worship

13 Sep

A priest was quoting a liturgical musician on Sunday when he said, “The Church who is wed to one generation finds herself widow to the next.” Forget the obvious reference to church music, which was the context of this priest’s statement; I was captivated by its broader suggestion. My deep thought is this: there should be something timeless about religion. Actually, make that everything–timeless as in immune from human whim, safe from our mistakes and preferences, the solid ground for all our spinning. Better yet, pure religion would be given to us somehow, and not created by us.

Worship of the divine takes us outside of time and our clouded reality. That’s the point. It’s about capturing eternity…or being captured by the Eternal. I imagine that the quoted individual was addressing the natural temptation toward wedding sacredness with status quo. Couldn’t the Sabbath be on Wednesday? Unleavened bread is too bland. If the Church were compassionate, it would change its stance on _________. In fact, I can’t think of any practice in human life which is not at least a mistress to status quo. So must my practice of religion be the exception? Is worship of the Unchanging One a big enough deal that it ought to look and feel different than other activities? Or cannot our best social format do the trick? Cannot our worship be as motivating as Stephen Covey, as diplomatic as a Senate hearing, as thrilling as a concert?

Here’s my deep thought to follow my original deep thought: Man and woman’s worship of God is unique among all other activities in that we are connecting with the One whom we did not create, and who is the Author of reality. Maybe worship should look a little strange to us. At least not be easily mistaken for something else.

-Emily Stevens

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