Last night, after getting my ass thoroughly handed to me at my first day back at work, I thought it would be best to rest and listen to God’s word and go to worship. My home parish has taken to providing a midweek service, over the summer, for those who travel or can’t make the regular Sunday gig. I am a huge fan of this – knowing full well that it takes time for these kinds of things to take root, and getting buy in can be tough. We all want choices, but very rarely are asked and follow through on committing ourselves to a new thing.
The attendance was fair, considering how new it is. The sermon was on the mustard seed parable. All around – it was alright. Strange and foreign, but decent – I will go again. Strange because it seems that it wants to be "casual" but is really struggling to make that jump. I come from a church where the 11 am service was always casual. I totally know what casual worship is, and last night – well, was just strange. The language was super cool – really accessible. Casual, sure. The music was circa 1970’s, but good, also in line with a more casual worship experience. But – there were all these normal Sunday service element stuff, standing and sitting and reading and flipping through the booklet. Not that it is bad, but it came off far from casual, or rather sort of I don’t know how to be casual so I’ll just do what I know how to do. Kinda like when someone is trying really hard to be hip, and ends up just being hep. Not quite hip – you know?
Amidst all this there was this one moment that I loved – and I hope that this service, and maybe even some regular Sunday worship experiences, can live into: there was this young person, maybe 3, a boy, who was just as playful as anything – being in church was not going to stop him from running and clapping and zoooooming cars around the floor. It was soooooo cool. He was engaged in the community adoring him and in his own playing. When it came time for communion, with his arms up – kinda like when a kid is "soooooo big!" – he exclaimed "it’s time for communion!"
The group giggled, and I thought to myself, how cool to be so excited and to be able to follow along in the midst of other important things like entertaining oneself. And how amazing that sharing in the one body, the one blood, can be so big.