A Fresh Experience At Church (Visiting Church #21)
If you view church in a tradition manner, then we didn’t go this Sunday. However, if church is two or more people gathering in God’s presence, then we had a most significant time.
The pastors begin by sounding the shofar (a trumpet made from an animal horn, as mentioned in the Old Testament) and we sing one song a cappella. The pastor then begins her teaching, interspersed with dialogue.
We turn to Hebrews 6, but as she establishes the foundation for her planned message, the Holy Spirit guides her in a different direction. I think the Holy Spirit should lead all our meetings, and I’m dismayed to realize this is the first time it’s happened in 21 Sundays.
She jumps to Ephesians 4. We go through most of the chapter, focusing on verse 11; we never make it back to Hebrews. I’m not sure what the teaching from Hebrews was, but I know Ephesians was what God wanted us to hear today.
We discuss how the passage applies to us. Although church services generally consist of a one person giving information and the rest receiving it, I see mutual interaction as being not only appropriate but preferred.
We then segue into a time of praise, moving to a different room. We part curtains as we enter. Inside is a recreation of the Ark of the Covenant. I feel as though we’re entering the Holy of Holies.
We only sing two songs, but the first one lasts for an extended time. I’m drawn into it. We conclude with a typical benediction, but instead of leaving, we end up talking even more. We pray again and finally leave; we were there almost three hours.
Today was not a typical church experience, but it was a fresh—and refreshing—one.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical spirituality, often with a postmodern slant. He seeks a fresh approach to faith and following God through the lens of scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.