Saturday, September 02, 2006

[THO] The Call: Worship

There were iterations of this statement that I completely adored. But again what is with all the granularity. Ok I need to dig into this one a bit. Let me say though that the restoration of both Word and Table is a much needed reformation in the Evangelical church. It isn't about doing one or the other well, but bringing them together to tell God's story that becomes our story.

But I find my frustration in one little sentence: "We call for a renewed consideration of how God ministers to us in baptism, eucharist, confession, the laying on of hands, marriage, healing and through the charisms of the Spirit, for these actions shape our lives and signify the meaning of the world."

Seems all well and good, but what does it really add? It doesn't invite those traditions that have no understanding of the terms eucharist, confession, laying on of hands, charisms of the Spirit. In fact I can think of many different groups that would be turned off by this statement. And on a personal note, why did they include marriage? Maybe to give some hope to the fundies who are already freaked about the references to eucharist and confession?

Take this sentence out and you are starting to really have something. The opening line is a zinger that grabs the attention. The third sentence is a bit heady, but forgivably so it doesn't throw you off like sentence two does. The next is meant to jar everyone, but in a good way. It might not be necessary, but it doesn't hurt. But the last sentence does it all for me - here we are calling the Evangelical church to grapple with historic Christian worship, beautiful. And it is the substance that we are calling for, not just the accidents, even more beautiful. This is what I've been about for the last four years as we've discovered just how rich tapping into these deep waters can be. I don't have any illusions that we look like the ancient Church, but we do share some substance with that Church which has made all the difference.

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