You’re right though, “Anything done in community is so hard for us as Americans.” So I guess the place we start is with our own individualistic hearts. And those four scenes of a gathered church that I listed certainly are too big to answer at one time, especially in passing. Maybe it would be worth several posts to deal individually (no pun intended) with each of these elements. Thanks for the comment Ameb’dan.]]>
Something I find interesting is that in the Jewish religion, a person was constantly involved in self-thought. They had to make sure to obey an impossible amount of commandments so as to be right with God. I would imagine their prayers sounding something like, “Help me not to _____ so that you will ______.” Now we are already made right with God – so where should our prayers go? Back inward? Well no, because we have no reason now to worry about ourselves. We are already right with God. Yes there are times where the Holy Spirit will show us some sin or something, but then we repent and it’s done. So often my prayers sound like the one a Jewish person would pray. If we have been made free and are love unconditionally, then our thoughts shouldn’t be so consumed with ourselves. And neither should our worship.
So now to your question: Are there ways we can renew a sense of community around these aspects of our worship…
I feel like a lot of our understanding of what it means to be set free needs to change first. If we would begin to realize that our savedness actually frees us from having to worry about ourselves and allows us to be deeply concerned for the welfare of those around us, we would be so much more inclined to come together and BE together. Each of those aspects of worship would take on renewed meaning, and clarity. I think we would see that we are running towards Christ together, not just individually and it would/could change so much. I feel like we would begin to see Christ in ways that we hadn’t before. But I can’t really think of any specific ways we could renew our sense of community.
Wow, thank you so much for this topic… Sorry I went on a little tangent that really doesn’t answer your question point blank. This definitely changes the way that I look at everything from reading the Word, to prayer, to worship. My life is no longer my own. It’s Christ’s. And if everything that He says in the Bible is true, then I need to be more focused on others than myself.]]>