By The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster
Maybe worship right now is more disjointed than normal. Maybe it’s richer and deeper than ever. It’s definitely different, in that we aren’t gathering together physically. The sights, smells, sounds, and even the physical act of leaving home and entering a worship space is gone. But gone, too, is the struggle of getting the whole family dressed and out the door. Gone is the search for a parking spot! You can arrive “in community” with the press of a button.
Dutch Reformed theologian Abraham Kuyper (1837–1920) says that liturgy (or simply the stuff we do during a worship service) is like “a riverbank cradling a current.” It’s a metaphor that plants my feet at the creek by my childhood home, or on a bridge looking down at the Skokie River, or in the backyard of the church watching the water flow past toward Lake Michigan. The words and actions we take during worship are the riverbank. Liturgy fortifies and protects and bolsters and reinforces our innate connection with God.
If the stuff of worship is the riverbank, what is the river itself? The divine-human relationship? Our path toward the presence of God? The vulnerable, strong, rushing sense that God is with us, moving us forward into the future?
- This week’s Kenilworth Union Family Faith Page helps explore ideas of service and worship.
- You can use the worship printable pages to color in the parts of the service and cut on the dotted lines. You will have 14 cards to use to design your own worship service. Send a picture to Reverend Christine Hides.