Thursday, January 25, 2007

One story

"I found Betty. She was an older woman whose husband had left to get the mail a memory ago and never came back. Her world went into a downward spiral of poverty that ended there – in the motel – cold, hungry and alone. I knew this wasn’t about starting a ministry, firing up a program in the church or doing a good deed to ease my conscience.This was about the simplicity of worship. As much as I was being awakened in the ethos of music and the arts to intimacy with Christ – I was discovering that here at the fringes of society in whatever I was doing to the “least of these” – I was encountering Him.It began down the pathway of finding friends among the poor and marginalized of the world. Strange thing is though – in finding the poor and oppressed, we found God in a way I would have never thought possible. As we became friends with Betty, she became a friend of God. Some time after our first meeting she would die and I can’t wait to see her again and thank her for introducing me to so much about what life and worship are really all about.
There was a fragrance in this exchange that I’ve found to be unmatched in any other place – and without this as a part of our life – it is lost in the gathered place of liturgy. Not only is it lost to the church and the society to which it is called – but it is lost to God as well, a tragedy indeed, and worship is lost.

"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men."You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:13-16

As one who has a sense of calling in serving the church at large by making a way for her to express her worship – I cannot be silent about justice. We cannot be a worshipping people without being a community of justice within and without our walls. I cannot be faithful to my destiny in worship without continually wrestling with the place of justice in my life as a worshipper and the worshipping community that I am a part of." - David Ruis

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