My earliest memories of Christian worship are emblazoned in my memory. During my childhood, my family brought me to worship every Sunday morning at Hollywood Hills United Methodist Church, whether I wanted to be there or not. The Sanctuary. Stained glass. Choir. Pipe organ. Learning classic hymns of the faith. Praying the Lord’s Prayer for the first time. I remember it all…
Best of all, I remember the people!
Although I was too young to understand, I could sense how the adults approached worship. They entered with a sense of purpose and devotion. They departed with joy. But what did they do during the “in between” time? That part was always a mystery to me. In many ways, it’s still a mystery to me. In other words, just what is it that we DO during corporate Christian worship?
If you are like me, and worship is a mystery to you, please do not fret! After all, when worship truly happens, we are ushered into experiencing the mystery of God’s presence. Stepping closer to the mystery prompts us to seek and to find, yet ultimately remain dependent upon God’s self-revelation. God refuses to become domesticated into our human-made categories and handles. Worship that seeks to simplify the Creator of the universe will always fall short.
During the month of November, we will focus upon WORSHIP. This will conclude a five month emphasis (CARING in March, FELLOWSHIP in July, EDUCATION in August, & OUTREACH in September) connecting the vision of First United Methodist Church to our church’s ongoing ministries and to our discipleship. If we are called to make and nurture Christian disciples through the presence and power of God, then each one of us should be engaged in the church’s worship, education, fellowship, outreach, and caring. The question always comes back to us for self-reflection: how am I growing and serving in these five dimensions of discipleship?
In addition to these Sunday offerings, we will continue to encounter the mystery of God’s presence in Midweek Meditation, featuring contemplative acoustic music.
Every week, I am excited to worship with you! Coming up in November, we have even more reasons than usual to celebrate and be thankful. As Psalms 133:1 declares: “How good it is when God’s people gather together in unity.”
Grace and peace,