We live in a time of crisis in worship. In our culture of consumerism, worship has become seen as one of many options for how to "spend" ... "our" ... time. What if we gave ourselves to the mystery of this gift of God, given to us to continually transform us in love?
I have been asked to serve as faculty presenter for an Academy for Spiritual Formation in Northern Illinois next February. I've begun working on my curriculum on "Worship as Spiritual Discipline" and am using it during Lenten studies at Grace UMC. Here is the outline. I'd love some feedback.
Day 1 – Worship as a Means of Grace
Psalm 1 … my journey with the tree … reaching up, out, and deep … beyond functionalism and consumerism into freedom of discipline … Wesley and “means of grace” … salvation as journey of continual transformation … finding grounding in a greater mystery … what worship and liturgy are
Day 2 – Worship as the Dance of Praise
Monastery experience … beyond praise as something we do to something we join … psalms as stepping into life of ongoing prayer … congregational song, language, and symbol … movement over time … diversity of traditions … worship is not an event
Day 3 – Worship as the Rhythm of Life
Spiritual life as voyage … seasons of the year, the week, and the day … framing our life together … mindfulness … finding our true self … giving ourselves to the patterns that shape us … journey from the head to the heart … the Lord’s Day as a “little Easter”
Day 4 – Worship as Sacramental Living
Memory … hunger for mystery … Eucharistic spirituality … becoming that which we receive … living as the beloved … incarnational spirituality
Day 5 – Worship as Becoming the Body of Christ
Healing prayer … depth and passion … raccoons are welcome … confession as “being real” … brokenness and the journey of forgiveness … continually becoming the Body … the life of prayerfulness
Day 6 – Worship as Holiness and Hospitality
Striking balance between the artistic and the evangelical … opening ourselves to God and others … the blessing of diversity … the dangers of spiritual arrogance … beyond “worship wars” to beholding mystery … finding the formative center