Sometimes the true context of worship hits me more than at others. It would seem ideal if every time we entered the liturgy we could be aware that heaven is coming to earth and that our role is to be "caught up in the Spirit" in much the same way as John the Revelator on the island of Patmos.
Sunday, April 10, 2011
Today, as I carried the Gospel in the procession, I was aware that I was carrying the Book that had sustained the Church for centuries. I thought of the people who had died for their commitment to the Gospel – this God-breathed account of the One who died to make the Gospel possible.
As the Procession chant filled the sanctuary I was aware this was no song that would get air-time on Top-40 radio..... God be praised.
As we approached the altar I saw all the details that speak of heaven-come-to-earth. Here is no accommodation to contemporary culture. Sinners (all of us) are beckoned to learn the language of the Church – and of heaven. It is the refrains of Revelation 4 and 5, giving glory to the One who is holy, holy, holy, and to the Lamb who was slain.
I am not one of those Catholic converts who is overly enchanted with the Latin. I have no desire to return to the Tridentine Mass. I worship best in my first language.
Yet I belong to a universal Church. I am visibly connected to something that began when Jesus said to Simon, "You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church." So I am learning, slowly, the language of Zion. It is first the language of Scripture, the way the message has been given and preserved from the beginning (and I am thankful for my Evangelical grounding in Scripture – it helps me know the language of the Church).
I am not enamored with the popular trend, especially in Protestant Evangelicalism, to be so contemporary that what is called the church is mostly like the world. That was one thing that drove me from the tradition of my past; it has largely ceased to exist, and the things I had loved about it were the things I found in greater fullness in the Church that is the source of all that is truly Christian.
Anyway (I have digressed), I was aware all over again today that worship is not about "this world." It is meant to be "otherworldly" because I am being prepared for a life beyond this one.
Posted by David L. Hall at Sunday, April 10, 2011