Sacred Exercises: Liturgy
November 14th, 2014 | John Chandler
A few weeks ago, I started writing about some sacred excercises as we wind down our series on Sacred Time. These are activities we can make a regular part of our schedule to allow God to form us as individuals and a community.
So far, we’ve covered exercises that you can do on your own or with a group, but this week we’ll look at one that you can’t do without others: Liturgy. Liturgy, as we say every Sunday, means “the work of the people” and we set aside that time so we can gather and be formed together.
I’ve had friends give up on doing “Sunday church” because they felt like it didn’t help them anymore…it was just the “same thing every week”. But that’s kind of the point! We gather for prayer, singing, teaching, and most of all, Eucharist, because we recognize that the things we do today shape who we will become tomorrow.
We consider liturgy a sacred exercise, and an important one. We gather so we can practice together what kind of prayers we want to pray throughout the week. We gather so that we can participate alongside each other, being formed into who God has intended for us to be. We gather so we can love one another and carry that love to others the rest of the week.
Jurgen Moltmann describes the ongoing life of a church this way:
“Gathering and sending are related to one another like breathing in and breathing out. The important thing is therefore to view life in the everyday world as just as important as the gathering of the congregation in the feast of worship.”
And so we gather just like we breathe. We come together as a people to catch a life giving breath. And then we go back out and live the church.