Saturday, September 6, 2008
(photo of Easter Vigil at Victoria House with Father Acker and the parishoners of Alpine Anglican Church of the Blessed Trinity)
Tomorrow is the first Sunday of the month which is Communion Sunday at Lake Murray. I will get up earlier than usual tomorrow morning so I can have some special time of confession and prayer before leaving for church. Being prepared for Communion is something that God has laid on my heart over the past few years.
Tonight I was reading "A Heart for God," the blog of David L. Hall, a former Brethren pastor who converted to Roman Catholicism. In one of his posts, he discusses the idea that I've heard in evangelical churches that having Communion too often makes it too commonplace, too boring, keeps it from being special, etc. He compares the joys of marriage -- how a husband and wife married 20 or 30 years still enjoy the physicality of their relationship, that it doesn't become "boring" the more often spouses come together -- to Communion, a comparison I've heard before and which has helped to clarify the concept of Communion for me. This is the closing of Hall's blog post:
Surely this is part of the mystery of husband and wife as a picture of Christ and his Church. "Innovative worship" seems to be to be a sign of misplaced focus, as if "worship" was about keeping us entertained instead of entering, again and again, into the age-old delight of the Lover of our souls and finding our deepest joy and hope in the wonder of a redemption that is beyond anything we could have imagined on our own. Love is what keeps "repetitive" and "mechanical" from displacing beauty and wonder. And like little children who cannot get enough of a father's playful attention, we go into the mystery of Communion with the need to say to our heavenly Father, "Do it again, Daddy, do it again."
This is not boredom with the "same old thing." This is entering the Mystery that cannot be exhausted. And until He comes, we need to do it again and again.
When true Christian worship (and by this I mean the forms passed down through the Church) is “boring,” the problem is not with the form of worship. The real problem is found by looking in a mirror. And then we need to find a time and place to pray...
I really like Hall's post as it expresses what I have attempted to express when trying to convince others in the evangelical tradition of the beauty of weekly Communion. Can we ever "communicate" too often or too much with our Lord? If Communion becomes boring or commonplace, then it's OUR spiritual problem, one that we need to bring before God and confess, asking Him to renew our hearts and minds with the joy of the closeness our relationship with God needs to have.
Father, forgive us for taking Communion for granted, for not using this time to draw as close to You as we possibly can. Help us to truly savor Your Word, desiring our hearts to become wholly Yours. We love You and we want to worship You, focusing on You and not on ourselves. Help us to do so, for Your glory, honor, and praise. Amen.