Worship Services & How Progressive Christians Worship
When Progressive Christians talk about How We Worship, the discussion usually centers on the goings-on inside the Church walls. While Sunday worship services have an important role to play, what matters even more is the worship that happens during the course of our every-day lives. This daily interactive worship with our immediate neighbors and our inner divinity (Christ) concerned Jesus more than the performance of rituals.
Washing the feet of others (i.e. humbling ourselves in service to our community) is the kind of worship activity that mattered most to Jesus–much more than public hallelujahs1 and orthodox practices such as recognizing the Sabbath or submitting oneself to formal baptism, a ritual which he told John that they must “suffer” for religion’s sake2 not because God demands it–because, after all, rituals only point toward spiritual truths; they are not truths in and of themselves.
When we Christians focus too much on worship rituals in defining “how we worship” we run the risk of elevating the metaphor to God-ordained law, just as the Pharisees did with the Sabbath. Progressive Christian Reverends should begin using the power of the pulpit on Sunday mornings to begin talking more about the daily bread of worship: worship that includes being better stewards of the Garden; caring better for the bodies God has granted us; listening closer for the sound of the Holy Spirit as it struggles to make itself known within us and others; and attending more generously to the needs of family, friends, co-workers, and community as a whole.
- “When you pray, you are not to behave as hypocrites do. They like to pray standing in the synagogues and at the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. There, I tell you, is their reward! – Matthew 6:5 [↩]
- “Suffer it be so for the present,” Jesus answered, “since it is fitting for us thus to satisfy every claim of religion.” Matthew 3:15 [↩]