Our church visits continue. It's been interesting to uncover my longings by experiencing what's missing for me, for now, in different corporate worship settings. I like to be with the people, to be included so graciously in their family gatherings. I appreciate so much of the experience, but it's usually what's missing that stands out so distinctly.
Things I've noticed I'm longing for include:
  • Sacred spaces that call forth a sense of reverence. The mystery of the incarnation, the Eucharist, the mercy of God are so beyond the reaches of my comprehension that they invite me not to analyze and dismiss but to dwell in their mystique. Spaces that treat these things casually or overlook them completely leave me without an experience of sanctuary, refuge or the divine.
  • A variety of ways of relating to the scriptures. I long to have the word of God spoken orally in the absence of exposition and to have the Psalms sung in addition to any teaching. Reading the scriptures only in the presence of the sermon promotes a one-dimensional relationship to the Bible.
  • Corporate worship that culminates in the partaking of the bread and wine. This was emphasized in my youth solely in obedience to the instruction to do this in remembrance of Christ. But there is so much more to the mystery of feeding on Christ, being part of his body broken to feed the world. To overlook or make small use of the sacraments seems to miss some of the experience of the grace of God.
That's all I have time for right now. The missings. The longings. I'm sure there will be more to come.