With our journey of visiting fifty-two churches over, I can reflect more on the complete experience. Today, I’ll add to my thoughts about Church #17.

This high church experience gave me much to contemplate about worshiping God in a more formal, liturgical manner.

Recalling Jesus’ warning against “vain repetition” (although he was addressing prayer, Matthew 6:7 KJV), part of me rebels against their rote practices. The liturgy, the solemn ritual, and the prescribed responses all fit my understanding of “vain repetition.” I want nothing to do with a routine, mechanical connection to God; I desire a Spirit-led directness: organic, passionate, and real.

Yet at the same time, there’s a certain rhythm to grasp – and to embrace. Though it eludes me right now, I want to pursue it, not as a regular spiritual practice but as a refreshing break from my normal non-liturgical connection with God.

Liturgy can expand my relationship to God, if only I can learn how to comprehend it.

[See my reflections about Church #16 and Church #18 or start with Church #1.]

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2 Comments

  • rocksand5 Posted August 19, 2014 5:39 am

    When I was a child, the liturgy was all in Latin including the responses. Now THAT was vain repetition. I remember when it changed over to English. At first it was wonderful, but it quickly degenerated into much mind wandering opportunities. So why do I sometimes miss it?

    • Peter DeHaan Posted August 19, 2014 7:00 am

      I think we find comfort in the familiar! Thanks for the reminder.

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