Saturday, July 3, 2010

Worship Is The Word

From Webster's New World Compact School and Office Dictionary, 1982:
worship n. 1. a service or rite showing reverence for a deity 2. intense love or adoration.
From "The American Heritage Dictionary", 3rd ed.:
worship n. 1a. The reverent love and devotion accorded a deity, an idol or a sacred object. b. The ceremonies, prayers or other religious forms by which this love is expressed. 2. Ardent devotion; adoration.
Reverence. Love. Devotion. Adoration. Worship.

Many Unitarian Universalists shy away from the word. Some feel there's nothing to worship. Others feel that the word is too...irrational, holy-roller, emotional. But UU Christians? Ah-h-h. We are more likely to use the word, act the word, at Sunday service and in our daily lives. It is the element of the UU Sunday service that we often say we miss, that we crave. I'm a strong proponent of ritual for its value in preparing us to enter a spiritual space of worship. A friend reminded me that, in general, Christian services with their visual drama, music and repeated prayers and actions provide a chance for us to encounter what Celtic language calls "thin places" where we can encounter God and can experience God's power, greatness, awesomeness. And worship with people similarly moved by the Spirit.

Some UU Christians are not Deists, do not believe in God, but they follow Jesus--Jeshua, the man, the rabbi, the moral teacher--and have an experience of his presence in their lives. I don't know how the word worship fits into their vocabulary, but I intend to ask at the UUCF Revival in October.

That's what we do as UU's--embrace the infinite colors of belief to come a little closer to the Truth. That's what we do as Christians--come together to learn how others experience the Divine, the Spirit of Life, Jesus.

I'm looking out my window at the summer sunlight filtering through the woods behind my house, the leaf green here, deep and vibrant, there, cut with patches of bright yellow green. An occasional breeze shifts the patterns. A beautiful morning full of promise, full of God's life.

A time for worship, indeed.

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