transformation


So said Simon. Maybe it was Garfunkel.

I think it was Simon.

Anyway, I had this thought yesterday during worship. Something in the alignment of the stars and the planets was affecting my usually cynical self, and I was not preoccupied with the negative thoughts that usually make themselves known during that hour or so of corporate worship. I felt charitable. Beneficent, even. Instead of scolding my fellow church-goers for their poor theology or miserable hymns, I merely participated and thought, “Well, they’re doing the best they can.”

And then, other thoughts (formed, in part, by a post I read on someone’s blog, to which I shall not link for I am not certain we want to broadcast this little project quite yet), came to mind.

I have written before, in other venues, about my distrust of our current “liturgy.” I have stated that I believe we are formed and shaped into people by our worship, and quite frankly, most times I don’t trust the college-aged chappie up front with his “close your eyes” and “ask Jesus into your heart” and “Jesus, you’re the greatest boyfriend, like, ever” schtick. If I wanted to be transformed into an unthinking, overly-emotional, girlfriend of Jesus, then I’d be all over that stuff. But, call me crazy, I think we should be a bit more careful with what we’re putting out there.

So, I Am A Rock.

If I, if we, imagine ourselves as rocks, the stream we place ourselves in becomes very important. We could rehash the ex opere discussion here (or wonder if something *magical* happens when we worship, whether we’re singing the latest ditty from ZOE or Stamps-Baxter or Luther himself), but I think we all agree that what happens during that time is important. Like the un-named blogger said, there are BIG events in life that shape us. These would be the chisel blows, the collisions with other rocks, the lightning bolts that turn the water that has seeped into our cracks and crevasses into steam with explosive force, shearing off big chunks of our rock-ness. These, however, are for the most part unscripted.

Liturgy, however, is the stream, the flow of water bearing sandy particles that, over time, wear down our rough edges, make us smooth, shape us. Note: the first person to talk about being a smooth stone for use in the Lord’s slingshot gets docked five points!

Now, I have never served on a worship committee, so I am not speaking from experience, but what if the first order of business every week was to decide “What sort of people do we want to form here?” and not “Do we have the proper balance of new songs and old songs?” or “Has the worship team practiced this new song enough to lead us?”

Are there any “liturgical” services at any of the congregations in our little tribe?

This “Out of Context” quote from the Out of Ur blog popped up in my RSS feeds this morning. I thought it appropriate for sharing here, based on what appear to be some shared beliefs on the state of our churches:

“Few people see Christianity as a shift of allegiance that prompts us to make personal changes in beliefs, habits, and lifestyles. We must continually examine our churches to make sure our message is one that requires transformation.”- Sarah Cunningham

When was the last time your church leadership held a meeting to examine whether or not they were “requiring” transformation? In our numerocentric church cultures, it seems like requiring anything is frowned upon. .