So this Sunday morning I opted for the early service at an Anglican church in an old neighborhood in Englewood and highly recommended by Susan and Doug (which means something is really going on there).
Filled with anticipation of what the morning might bring, I found the small church (in a building that formerly housed a Methodist church) and joined 20 others for worship and the Eucharist.
The Old (as in not contemporary Evangelicalism):
Procession of the cross. Vestments worn by the clergy. Sign of the cross. Short but meaningful and impacting liturgy. Kneeling. Older hymns. Proceeding to the front for communion (wine not grape juice). Standing during the reading of the Gospel passage.
The New (depending on one’s perspective):
Contemporary songs capturing the heart of David for today’s generation. Projectors with liturgy and lyrics. Arms raised while singing and in prayer. Comfy chairs. Vocal prayers offered by almost everyone in attendance. Blue jeans.
Whether it was the ancient story of God’s capturing David’s heart, or the contemporary rendition of redemption as related by the guest speaker. Whether it was old hymn, ingrained in my being, or the contemporary beat and verbal expression of that same thanksgiving. Whether it was the participation in the ancient ritual of the Eucharist, or the connection with many new faces and hearts as prayers were poured out. Whether it was praying as Christ taught us to pray so long ago, or doing it while holding the hand of my new friend (relatively new friend) – or all of the experiences blended together. Connected and rooted with with God’s people throughout the ages and stumbling through life today. Like David before me and likely everyone in that room – I felt the pursuit of God and the grace and mercy that accompanies His relentless calling of us to the wedding feast.
… my soul is restored, I will not fear, for the Lord is with me, my cup overflows, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever…