Sunday, November 26, 2006

We Shall Gather at the River

Church today was one of those times when I know I should've been paying attention, but the ability to focus seemed so confounded by every little slip and slurp in the flow of the meeting. The kids singing, the drama team, and the pastor - it all felt so unfocused. Bless them. Their hearts desire worship, and if not, we can't judge, and we can't correct without the proper leading. But, it made me begin to think about why we meet together.

Why is it that we should "not give up meeting together?" What is it about community that facilitates worship? What is it about corporate worship that is so important? And, given this query, do we accomplish, expedite, or hinder, by our actions and methods, the process of such achievement? Forgive me, I have mostly questions here. Since Kat and I are in between churches at this point, I feel more apt to ask - or at least think out loud. My thoughts here are that we meet together that we may become well acquainted with the strengths, weaknesses, faults, victories, and loves of one another, that we may pray for grace to bear with each person. We associate that we may actively edify one another in our common pursuit: the Glory of God in Christ. Activity is key here. We must not be a Kingdom 'Us', but, as my friend Brantley so eloquently put, a Kingdom 'We'.

These are only the first of my thoughts on this. I write them in order to ask your thoughts? Why do you think we meet together? Why together? Why singing? Why preaching? Why drama and videos and music and arts? What is it that is singular about this process? What cannot be achieved except in this weekly (or however many times your group meets) togetherness that brings an entire community into one room? And, do we achieve it?


and Blogger adam addressed the Senate...

i think you're on the right track.

for me, the clincher is that experiencing god happens at best in community. the entire bible was written to be read in community environments--not for individual reading (with the possible exception of the pastoral epistles in the NT--timothy, titus, etc.). the fact that we read our bible individually is a relatively recent development in the grand history of god-worship. (perhaps a "western" addition...?)

secondly, god is community. he exists three-in-one and as we look to his nature, we discover that we experience him most profoundly in community as well.

thirdly, the church is a "body" (as paul says) made up of many parts. any piece that is missing--including in worship--looks like a severed body part... mangled and decaying. the body also suffers as a result.

finally, singing, sermonizing, and the inclusion of arts (technology?) all have biblical presedent all the way back to the old testament. they facilitate understanding the word, being changed by the word and worshipping the word (the word being made flesh: jesus christ).

just a few thoughts...

btw, why are you "in between" churches?

7:35 AM, November 27, 2006  
and Blogger Whipple addressed the Senate...

Kat and I are sort of 'trying on' some different churches. I'm praying that God will lead us to a place that has some inclination toward authentic community. We stopped going to Salem because it was an hour away, and fellowship in-between times was impractical, if not impossible. So, churches in town are the order of the day. We have yet to find the welcome we're looking for, and my heart is inclined to be bitter if we are the source of all the welcome we know in a body. Pray for me in this matter.

6:38 PM, November 28, 2006  
and Blogger adam addressed the Senate...

ah. thanks for the elucidation...

3:49 PM, November 30, 2006  

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