For: The Institute of Contemporary And Emerging Worship Studies, St. Stephen's University, Essentials Blue Online Worship Theology Course with Dan Wilt
One of the recurring thoughts that I came across in my readings this week was that worship is a response. It is the appropriate reaction to encountering God, to experiencing his love, to living on his earth, to viewing his creation. What exactly that response looks like is hard to pin down. We think of majestic songs, intimate whispers, loud shouts, bowing down, sacrifices, caring for the poor, submission, exaltation, crying and laughing and jumping. All of these can be appropriate, but what is appropriate today, right now?
Today, after a week of reading theology texts and doing assignments for three courses (this one plus two university courses), my thoughts are fuzzy and scattered. I can't remember what I think about every aspect of the Trinity or my humanity or what all the names of the theologians were in the 20th century. The subject is too bright to look at directly and I am tired. So I sit here. And I close my eyes. And I take a deep breath. And I rest for a moment. This is my worship today.
Here is a poem I read for my Spirituality class which illustrates a wonderful response to God:
Sharon's Christmas Prayer
She was five,
sure of the facts,
and recited them
with slow solemnity
convinced every word
they were so poor
they had only peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
and they went a long way from home
without getting lost. The lady rode
a donkey, the man walked, and the baby
was inside the lady.
They had to stay in a stable
with an ox and an ass (hee-hee)
but the Three Rich Men found them
because a star lited the roof
Shepherds came and you could
pet the sheep but not feed them.
Then the baby was borned.
And do you know who he was?
Her quarter eyes inflated
to silver dollars,
The baby was God.
And she jumped in the air
whirled round, dove into the sofa
and buried her head under the cushion
which is the only proper response
to the Good News of the Incarnation.
- John Shea, The Hour of the Unexpected (Allan, Tx: Argus Communications, 1977), 68.
This is a handmade camel sculpture from Egypt sitting on the beam in our condo.