Monday, March 8, 2010

A Framework for Life

"Worship gives us a workable structure for life...How do we get that framework? Christians go to worship. Week by week we enter the place compactly built, 'to which the tribes ascend,' and get a working definition for life: the way God created us, the way he leads us. We know where we stand."
-Eugene Peterson
I agree. But the way I have always worshipped has failed to give me much of a framework for living life in the world. If anything, my worship experiences have sheltered me in the illusion of safety and security, making me timid about engaging the 'dangerous' world. If anything, my worship experiences having given me a new set of language that makes me incapable of conversing with the very people I am called to 'neighbor.'

If worship is meant to give us a 'framework' for life, then just singing a few songs and hearing a little message does not seem as important. Community seems of primary importance if we are to engage our world communally: communal meals, communal scripture reading and interpretation, conversation and dialogue around issues in our world, etc. Notice that all of the traditional elements of worship are still present, but each is undergirded with a focus on relationship and community.

Diversity in worship and fellowship also becomes immensely important if worship is to be a sort of role-play for how we might act in our diverse world. We must recognize the obvious diversity of our world and commit to being people who will bridge gaps and break down walls of separation. We come together in diversity of race, gender, sexual orientation, education, etc., and offer one another grace and peace as a means of preparing ourselves to offer grace and peace to our world.

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