Worship: Two Important Things

Two things have become very important to me.

The first is greater participation in worship. Worship is tied to the word liturgy, from the Greek word leitourgia meaning “the work of the people.” Worship is not something to be watched. It is verb to be experienced. Worship forms and informs our living. Songs to sing, silence for listening, prayers prayed together and time to pray as individuals, sermons as dialogue rather than monologue, artists painting and sculpting and dancing and signing and acting and imaging to help all who are gathered embody God’s word…

Good liturgy operates as something of a wedge that opens space between our status quo and world that God desires. We become aware of the space between what is and what is yet to be. Likewise, the liturgical act is the peeling away of the layers of apathy, egotism, and ultra-pasteurized homogeneity to reveal and revel in something meaningful, communal, and sublimely diverse. It is this space between, the creative moment, the liminality of the threshold between that pulls us closer to God’s heart.
– Aaron Klinefelter

The second is tied to the first. All types of people can and should lead worship- children, teens, seasoned citizens, men, women, handi-capable persons, rich and poor, educated and under-educated …. If a community of faith values being the Body of Christ- diverse, gifted and intergenerational- than they should model and practice that value in worship.

Lately, our congregation has been embracing these truths and it has brought a great richness and joy to our worship. The following prayer is an example of this. It was written for our Vacation Bible School worship celebration. It was led by a child, with everyone echoing each line until we all joined together in saying the Lord’s Prayer. I pray these thoughts and this simple prayer inspire you to make your worship “the work of the people.”- Lisa <><

Echo Prayer
Good morning Jesus
You are our friend and leader
You are great and you are good
Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!

Thank you for life and health
Thank you for family and friends
Thank you for food and a place to sleep
Thank you for the chance to learn and grow
Thank you for your great love
For dying for us and rising again

Help us Jesus
Help all who are sick and scared
all who are lost and lonely
all who are hungry for food and love
all who are thirsting for water and truth
all who live in violent places
all who do not know you
Help us to help them, too

We ask all this in your strong name
Praying as you taught us
Our Father who art in heaven…

(echo stops, continue through the Lord’s Prayer)

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