Have you noticed that I’ve been repeating the lines, “Real People, Real Worship, Real Moments” lately? If so, let me explain why (and if not, then let me explain). As many of you are aware, the church vision team has been hard at work to design a logo and a mission statement. Out of those meetings came a recurring trend: This church is comprised of real people practicing real worship living in real moments, thus the saying was born. These words encompass who we are.
I think some of Christianity is filled with nominal Christians—people attending Church and donning the moniker in name only. You know about whom I speak: The unrepentant who come to church for social designs only to go out into the world unchanged, merely ‘going through the motions’. I’m sure there are times when this applies to many of us, yet those times are few and far between; the faith held in this community is intentional and “We the people” sincerely do our best to rely upon each other during those times. But the ‘Real’ people aspect of our ethos is the fact that we might say a few bad words now and then, we may have a drink once in awhile, and we definitely don’t agree with one another on every issue—yet we still come together because we know that our sins and opinions are many, and it takes all of us to help one another see the world in a broader and clearer way.
This, perhaps, is the easiest to grasp of the three tenets. The worship of ECOTR is beautiful, worthy and practiced with intentionality. I love worshiping next to you and being with you during our high holy days and on our ‘low’ church Sundays. From Holy Week to the Sunday after Christmas, and every Sunday of the year, we come together again and again to proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord—and we do it the way that people were doing it long before we ever came. No frills, no production, just worship. I love it.
Because of the first two statements, real moments occur. I’ve seen people captured in moments of the Holy that I can hardly keep tears from my eyes. Moments when, in the middle of the service, a reference or a gesture can bring a sense of the Spirit that moves me beyond my normal state of faith and launches me into that thin space where I feel like I can almost touch the face of God. And I’ve seen that in you, too. From carrying the cross down on Good Friday to singing Silent Night at Midnight Mass, these real moments show our humanity and our humility, our joy and our sorrows, our shining faith in the broad daylight and the dark night of our souls. Yet worship is not the only place I see these moments; I see them in the everyday life and vitality of this holy space. From Open Mic Night to Soul of a Musician; from Pam Dean’s Olive Dip to Mary Greear’s Welcome Bags; from Deacon Dion’s gentle presence to Jack Pierce’s awesome exuberance. We, each of us, create in one another moments that capture our essence as the community of God, the Body of Christ, the moving living breathing containers of the Holy Spirit. And we do it because we are real with one another, we worship together, and we find ourselves in a place of the Holy that can only be reached when we band together and proclaim that we are the people of God through our brokenness, our perfect imperfection, and our desire to support one another through all the varying phases of life.
What are your memories of the Real Moments that have impacted you? What are your favorite experiences of Real Worship? And how are you impacting the world around you by being a Real Person? Think on that this week, and know that I am beyond grateful to be on this holy journey with you.
Now go, and #practiceresurrection