Every faith tradition has some quirky beliefs and practices. Just think of our own, for example! We ‘eat Jesus’ body and drink his blood’ as the critics in the 1st century decried. We talk about one God revealed in three persons. We build off the foundation that Jesus came back from death on Easter, walked around for 40 days with holes in his wrists and feet, and then was taken up to heaven. There is a lot that is…well…unique!
To be sure, every tradition has their own unique expressions. As people travel to different regions with different faiths, we learn that while expressions are unique, the internal pull toward the divine is strong everywhere. In my immaturity, I remember thinking how Christianity was superior, or worse, the only right way to know God. As I’ve grown, I’ve come to learn that we are all seeking the Well of Life and that I must respect others’ traditions if I expect them to respect my faith tradition.
As we think of our tradition, what parts of worship uplift you, or connect you to God? What parts of worship leave you baffled or just simply don’t understand? Are there certain times of year, or certain services, that you feel the sacredness of the divine filling you and our space? One seminary class was by far the most fun—Worship and Experience. In this class, we thought through every single element in worship and why we do it. It wasn’t until I paid attention that I began to see the value of all the various parts. It was then that I found in any worship style or service, I can reverently worship God. Perhaps taking your bulletin this week and reviewing each part and jotting down what that part means, what experience you have with it, and any questions that are raised might help you experience worship in a deeper and more meaningful way!