Embracing Tradition and Worship Ritual
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 #28.
Steeped in ritual resulting from centuries of carefully protected tradition, the spiritual mystery of this tiny liturgical church presented me with an enigma I’m yet to fully comprehend.
With worship that both confronted and comforted me, I have much to contemplate as I wrestle with confusion over its practices that are so foreign to me. I call it Christian mystic.
I remind myself that different isn’t a bad thing. It’s actually good if the result draws me closer to God. This church did that for me.
They left me in awe of who he is and amazed at the diverse ways we can worship him. My admiration, however, didn’t end with the official service, the Christian mystic approach to God.
Though it only lasted an hour, the informal gathering afterward continued for another ninety minutes, as we immersed ourselves into community. I learned much about the people and this church, enjoying our conversation and all they had to share.
These are good folks, fellow pilgrims who enjoy being with each other. I know that I must return for another visit.
My plan was to never tell people at the churches we visited that we might come back. And for fifty-one churches, I never did. However, I do tell them I’ll be back—just that it won’t be for quite a while. We have twenty-four other churches to visit first.
Followup: My wife and I did indeed make a return visit to this church. Much of our experience the second time matched our first visit. The one key difference is that there were about four times as many people in attendance the second time.
My wife and I visited a different Christian Church every Sunday for a year. This is our story. Get your copy of 52 Churches today, available in e-book, paperback, and hardcover.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.