What is our worship today? Why do we do certain things? Are we even following biblical principles? These are all things I am attempting to figure out right now. I am currently in Houston at a Starbucks attempting to begin a research project for my Comparative Liturgies class, comparing the use of the sacraments in large Baptist Churches in 21st century DFW to the Early Church of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd century. Sounds a tad bit ridiculous, but I am excited to see how it turns out. Hope it doesn't tank, because it is one of the only grades for this class. Did I put this off until the end of the semester? Of course I did, some things never change.
Back to worship and what we do today. I have really started to wonder if what we do in our churches right now lines up at all with the early church. Some things do, but we have changed a lot of things today for what appears to be the convenience factor. Heaven forbid that our service last over an hour and fifteen minutes, and yes I admit that I get impatient when church runs long. The early church would spend long periods of time reading scripture, praying, hearing instruction from the president (their pastor), then the service would shift from the Liturgy of the Word to the Liturgy of the Table and they would partake in the Eucharist (Lord's Supper). In our churches now we often cram the Lord's Supper into the last 10 minutes of the service and check it off the list for the quarter. We have lost sight of the true worship that takes place during this time. This worship act goes back directly to Jesus Christ, yet we feel like we have to squeeze it into our services and not devote the time to it that we should. It is a time for us to remember the huge sacrifice that was made to grant us our salvation. So next time that your church partakes in the Eucharist take time before the service to prepare your heart. It is probably the most important act of worship that we as Christians do and so little attention is paid to it by both church leadership and also the congregation. I fall into this trap all the time. So join me as I seek to prepare myself and truly honor the Lord in worship the next time we take the Lord's Supper.
Peace to you.