A weekly Rector’s Notes article, April 8, 2019
Our communal experience of faith is worship. It was what draws us together each Sunday, it is how we as a community experience the presence of Christ in one another, in ourselves. But, worship shouldn’t end with the closing hymn and dismissal. There is a beauty in being able to take our worship with us out into the world. There is a beauty in finding an excuse to worship, at all times, in all places.
As we go out into the world from the doors of our worship space, we take our experience of worship with us (consciously or not). The way we worship shapes our faith, influences how we see the world, influences how we come into contact with the world. When we reflect on our experiences of worship, we find that we often come back to similar traits and themes that continually speak deeply in us, that inspire and guides us, that affirm that our faith is well-founded and that this worshipping place is our home. Our task then is to seek this out in our everyday life, to take the experience of Sunday and see it reflected in the everyday.
As we begin to unlock this experience of making a point out of worshipping every day, we begin to also see how our call to go out into the world, to “Go in peace to love and serve the Lord,” is grounded within our Sunday experience but is also not contained within those Sunday walls. We cannot help but go out into the world when we see the world as a source of worship, a source of knowing and experiencing God’s presence in this world, daily.
The way of love that Jesus has left for us, that the Presiding Bishop has called us into journeying through study, through prayer and reflection, through coming together not just as the community of St. Stephen’s but as the Diocese of Olympia and as the Episcopal Church all across the world, is a way that leads us and guides us as we go out into the world to do the work that Jesus has given us to do.
In reflecting on these seven areas of focus: Turn, Pray, Learn, Bless, Rest, Worship, Go, we have been given a rare opportunity to pointedly look inward, to address ourselves and our personal faith, to seek a better understanding of how we connect to God through Christ. In so doing, we have put in serious work that now calls us to go out into the world to spread the good news, to make disciples of all peoples. It only made sense that we take on this work together in the season of Lent, a season of preparation and reflection, a season where we come together to prepare ourselves for the death and resurrection of Christ, because it is in that resurrection that we are convicted to spread the good news that Christ died for us, Christ rose for us, because God, acting through Christ, loves us, and together we can share that love with one another and the world.