I am spending my weekend working two weddings at Asbury in the sound booth. I am the only engineer here this summer so I am doing around two of these bad boys a weekend. It is not so bad except I had a nasty fall in the garden this week and ending up twisting/spraining/screwing up my ankle. We actually thought it was broke for awhile, but now I just think I have some strained muscles involved. It makes running up and down the stairs to the balcony hard.
While I have been doing all of this I have been reading Mark Galli's "Beyond Smells & Bells", and really enjoying it . The book is filled with small chapters that extol the beauty of liturgical life, and explain why the liturgy keeps us grounded in the story of the kingdom. Without ever attacking, Galli manages to re-direct us from a path of narcissistic worship toward a worship that is enthralled with the story of God and our participation in it.
There is no way to find a singular piece to sum it up, but I will attempt bring out a point. The author brings up how Enlightenment thought has brought us up thinking that individualism and intellectual pride are the foundational elements of life.
"While this insight has blessed the Western world in many ways, it has led to an excruciating loneliness, as well, which the nineteenth-and twentieth-century existentialists (Camus, Sartre,among others) articulated so powerfully, and in the twenty-first century, as led to a deep despair, as expressed by many postmodern philosophers. When the individual is our starting point, we can find no way to satisfy the basic yearning of the human heart, which has been created for communion"
Inside the liturgy, we express ourselves in our created nature of community, us made in the image of the Triune God.
This brings me to one of the main reasons that I have spent the last few years thinking so much about worship. What exactly are we doing together as a worshiping body? I know the usual answers...giving God glory, showing our thankfulness,etc,etc. But really, what are we doing? Do we wrap ourselves inside of each other? Are we aware that we are gathered together as the assembled church when we worship?
Our worship can't be good enough to "summon God down." I hate to tell you, but when you suffer from a "bad day" in worship-it's not because you didn't worship hard enough. This isn't about getting a big God fuzzy. There is no way we can work ourselves up into a collective frenzy and "make" good worship.
The Church draws together to say Holy,Holy,Holy-and that throughout all space,time and venue we join together in this song of the Church.
So what do you think about communal worship?