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Alan on Liturgy

11 July, 2004 7:39 PM

Alan Creech has another good post asking the question - Why the Liturgy Helps?

'I see it helping like this: you have a simple, organic, emerging faith community who wonders what to do. You have the church planter/leader/pastor of that community who has likely been trained (read: almost ruined) in a system that makes them the be all and end all of everything that goes on there. They must perform. They must get people to "come" to their thing. Then, they must keep them there by providing a rich worship experience and feeding them until they are fat little Christian piggies who can't move. There's a fair amount of pressure in something like that. "I've got to come up with something to talk about on Tuesday night!" "I've got to feed these people the Word!" "I have to come up with a system for discipleship!" AaaagghhHhhhhh!!! We be trippin'! One really practical way the liturgy can help is that it is a very basic structure that is simply there.'

He goes on.... (but I'll let you read that yourself along with his Part 1

At Livingroom we don't use liturgy on a regular (or even really a semi regular) basis. It isn't because I disagree with it or anything - but really to be honest I've hardly ever seen it used/modeled. Perhaps I need to go hang out with Alan and his crew. Having said that - the few times I've been involved in groups that have used liturgy I've found it to be a really refreshing and meaningful experience. Maybe its something to explore for the months ahead....after all I am trying to come up with something for Tuesday night!



Darren, come ooonnn over, and up a little! You're welcome to come hang out whenever you want. You may get fairly disillusioned but hey, we'll have fun. And let somebody else come up with something for Tuesday. Peace to you!

+ Alan » 12 July, 2004 12:37 AM

I don'y have to further read Alan Creech's referenced post. I have huge problems with just what was posted here:
If the congregation is indeed "fat little Christian piggies " then -by scripture analogies they are already reprobates. If they are lost sheep without the proper leadership.... well, then they aren't just "fat piggies" given over to their lusts, are they?

It seems to me that there is a gross ( forgive the pun) oversight in labeling things. "a system that makes them[pastors] the be all and end all of everything that goes on there. They must perform. They must get people to "come" to their thing. " is describing just plain "The World" as in 'the World. the Flesh. and The Devil'. It isn't something you provide "rich worship" for at all. Not in Christian living, anyway.

Maybe we get all weird in our tight little circles of holding on to our words like "liturgy" while trying so hard to be so... so... Hip.

Real.Genuine. Relationship. Isn't that pretty simple? And wouldn't that lead to compassion for the sheep --rather than mislabeling them as little piggies. 'Cause if you do have a fold full of real piggies...you have a whole 'nother problem. And a little liturgy isn't going to feed that appetite.....

And anyway... is the focus all in _what we do_? Maybe the engine that's missing is what engined all the great movements of the Church: seeking God and knowing Him more. It doesn't help to take the focus off the small "us " of the pastorship/leaders and place it on the large "us" of the group. There has to be an altogether shift onto the Great "Other" of God for true worship.

Isn't this rather basic? Maybe I missed something... because while the analogy of liturgy to being organically the body... yes, I agree.... where does all the lifeblood come from?

Am I old fashioned to say "The Cross"?

ilona » 12 July, 2004 3:29 AM

thanks for the post, darren. i appreciate what ilona has to say, and i hope we don't run to liturgy just b/c it's easier than whatever else we have traditionally done. but i'm a convert to liturgical worship from a very protestant, very low church, very evangelical background, and my "real, genuine relationship" w/ god has benefited immensely from discovering liturgy (if one ever really discovers something that has been w/ us since the christian church's nativity).

ilona's courage and insight should be heralded. we do well to remember that worship is something transcendent, something we can't just create by changing the order or otherwise "tak[ing] the focus off the small 'us' of the pastorship/leaders and plac[ing] it on the large 'us' of the group." but that's not what liturgy is, really. "leitourgia" is "the work of the people," it's what we're called to do when we come together, and it's not a shift of consciousness from "me" to "us" so much as it is, indeed, "an altogether shift onto the great "other" of god . . . ." that's why we start by answering the priest's "lift up your hearts" by affirming "we lift them up to the lord!"

the lifeblood of the church is truly blood. christ's shed @ the cross, as ilona points out. and the liturgy w/ which i'm familiar (anglican and r.c.) is soaked in scripture and virtually dripping w/ imagery of the blood of christ, shed for us. i'm glad we have alan's voice, and ilona's (and darren's and mine and yours), to join together to proclaim the gospel: that while we were sinners, christ died for us.

sam » 12 July, 2004 3:45 AM

Darren, you can hang out with me too......... :-)

Paul Fromont » 12 July, 2004 7:56 AM

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