He calls on us to allow HIM to penetrate every cell of our beings. That’s what I heard the Spirit reminding in today’s psalm:
Psalm 16:8-9 8 I keep the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. 9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices; my body also rests secure.
My worship experience yesterday on Resurrection Sunday offered, amongst other things, a ‘duh’ reminder of God’s steadfast invitation to penetrate every cell of our beings.
I attended worship with what I would describe as surface-level Christians – two non-worshiping-doubt-the-whole-resurrection-thing-but-believe-in-God young people who’s experience with God has been far from penetrating or pierced; but instead once landed on the surface through baptism stayed at that level unattended and not grown and resembled nothing close to a whole heart-soul-body connection with God that both the psalm and Sunday’s liturgy describe.
Both were touched by the fulness of the worship and the invitation to encounter the Holy One in one way or another; either in the music (with many variations offered), the incense (both during the processions, the Gospel reading and the Eucharistic Prayer), the vestments (a variety in both style and color), the bread and wine, the hand to hand pax. Both connected with our triune God at a deeper level than either anticipated or had before. Every ‘sense’ of their beings were attended to in ways they first identified as ‘bells and whistles,’ pomp and circumstance, ritual. We talked about the service afterwards and when asked about all the bells and whistles,
- why the incense?
- who was the guy leading the procession with the big stick?
- where were the wafers?
- why were the baptismal vows repeated?
- why was so much of the service sung?
I found myself answering that it was all intentional – that sacramental worship is designed from the floor up to glorify God with every cell of the church’s being. I went on to say our liturgy holds within it a whole-y-ness, if you will , a divinely holy and humanely wholly work-of-the-people that worships God and at the same time invites God into every cell of our own being in one way or another. Sight, sound, taste, smell, touch – all of our senses awakened to Him.
And while I am unsure the explanation I offered to the surface-level believers about the bells and whistles would pass the smell test in any divinity course in Liturgics, I don’t think I was wrong.
End of the day? It’s a mystery – a holy mystery and I can’t think of any other liturgy that incorporates that mystery into worship so beautifully and intentionally that anyone present will taste, touch, feel, hear or see God on deeper level than when they entered the worship.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices; my body also rests secure.