Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Why do we worship?

Why do you worship? Some people tell me that they don’t worship because it does nothing for them. Other people will say that, if they haven’t been to worship, their whole week seems out of whack. For those of us who worship somewhat regularly, it’s a question worth considering. Why do you worship?

I was thinking about this as I was working on our summer liturgy this morning and decided that it might be good to begin worship by paying attention to why we’re gathered together in a time and place set apart, with people we might never choose to associate with otherwise, for some strange activities that are a radical departure from the way we spend the other 167 hours of the week. So, I wrote a Call to Worship to begin our time together on Sunday.


We gather as people created in the image of God, reborn of the Spirit, called to follow the Jesus Way in the world:
to love God with our whole being;
to love our neighbors as ourselves;
to treat others as we would have them treat us;
to strive for justice and peace;
to have respect and compassion for every person
and for the whole of creation;
to forgive those who do us harm;
to love one another as Christ has loved us.

That’s the way we long to live. But in reality, we often fail.
We ask for your forgiveness and your help.

We gather because your ways are not the world’s ways, and the world has such an overwhelming influence on us. We know there is more to life than judgment and fear, violence and greed.
Open us to your Word. Teach us. Transform us.

We gather to be reminded of who you are and who we are.
You are God, and we are not.
All that we have and all that we are is a gift from you.
We are yours.

We gather to thank and praise you, to hear the good news proclaimed, to break bread and pray together. We reach out to you and one another for strength beyond our own.

And so we enter into this time of worship.


From my perspective, this is why we worship. But how would you answer the question for yourself? I invite you to really think it through. You might write your answer down and read it as a reminder before you gather for worship within your own community of faith, or if you resonate with what I’ve written, help yourself.

Worship is best entered into mindfully. Then it becomes more than just one more thing in a long list of stuff we do during the course of a week. It is at the center, where it belongs. 

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