Have you ever thought to yourself, “How did we get here?” It’s a fair question to ask when we reflect on changes in our lives and to the culture around us. We might also ponder this in a historical framework, i.e., asking “What things or actions have shaped our shared journey?” Years ago, I was asked to summarize the history of Christian worship onto one sheet of paper. Easy, right? I selected Acts 42:2 as a starting point:
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
As I considered the many shifts and changes in Christian worship, it became clear that as we (humans) move farther away from the simple tenets of Acts 42:2, our worship suffers. We, of course, are influenced by the traditions of faith that come before us, but these traditions are not intended to replace the simple admonitions to learn, love and share. God calls us to worship so we might be changed, and that is a process. Historic reflection can show us deviations and corrections, but it is up to each of us to do our part—our faith is a living faith. So perhaps, then, a more important question for us might be “What is our worship doing?” Are we devoted to the teachings of Jesus Christ? Are we committed to caring for each other? And are we willing to share our resources, our “bread,” to feed a hungry world? If we can answer “yes” to these questions, then we are heading in the right direction! When worship shapes us into the image of Jesus Christ, our Salvation, we can boldly say:
We have been saved, we are being saved, and we will be saved!
Let us be encouraged by God’s work both then and now, and may our shared journey inspire us to continue the work of Jesus Christ.
May the peace of Christ be with you.