Friday, April 8, 2011

Go in Peace

Candles being packed away and table dressings being folded gently and placed in the cupboard lent a poignancy missed by some in the room.  Four-plus years ago I would not have believed that there would be a lump in my throat as I read our closing liturgy, the liturgy I hated, then tolerated, then grew to be a part of. 

We are in a season of change at World Impact and although God brings many new opportunities out of change, saying goodbye to the comforts that have held you through a mountainous journey can leave an ache in your chest.  Today our staff church held its last service as Antioch Missionary all its liturgical and controversial glory.  We are being led toward new expeditions and manifestations of our collective worship.  For some this passing is no more than a blink of an eye and a moving toward a new vision.  But for others of us, closing this chapter is felt deeply as we remember the things we have been through, the lives connected through our collective wrestling with life, ministry, and each other.  For a few of us, Antioch was a cord that connected all of the transitions, a cord that began frayed and unclear but was woven tightly as we joined with others on this journey and clung to one another for shelter from the storm. 

Never was it perfect.  Never did it breed a perfect union of God's people.  Never did it connect to everyone at all times.  But that is life.  Its value was not its perfection, but in the way that it made us change ourselves as individuals to approach God as a communtiy.  I will miss it, but I also rejoice in the knowledge that God is unchanging and He is ever in our midst.  I pray that He will lead us into something that is different, yet equally as challenging.  I pray that we embrace opportunities that will rock our pre-conceived ideas about worship and fellowship and that we will never seek what is best for ourselves but that which brings a community into the glory and shelter of God.

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts..
We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God, it is right to give Him thanks and praise. Amen

Go in peace.

1 comment:

  1. I believe that there are many, many ways to formally and jointly worship God. Some offer advantages over others, with commeasurate disadvantages as well. The rule for worship should follow the same rule the Jesus gave for living "Love the Lord your God with all your heart mind and strength. And the second is like it, love your neighbor as yourself." If ones worship is doing that, then hallelujah, you've nailed it.

    I'm sure that most of your saddness, as you noted, is due to the relationships that forged the final form of worship. And now those relationships AND worship style is gone. You know things would not have been the same even if they had kept the worship style. I wish there was a way to avoid these changes and painful partings, but this is life until we pass through the veil.
    Hang in there.