Thursday, August 9, 2007

Communal Worship

On congregational worship:
"...once everyone was seated and the first hymn began, it was foretaste-of-heaven time. Our bread was given, not earned. We had nowhere else to go and nothing else to do but sit there together, saying sonorous words in unison, listening to language we did not hear anywhere else in our lives...Although we could have sat quietly with Bibles on our laps and read these things to ourselves, we took turns reading them out loud to each other instead. The words sounded different...from the mouth of a young mother than they did from the mouth of a widow. This was because the words did not come straight off the page. They percolated up through the silt and gravel of real people's lives so that the meaning in them was fluid, not fixed. Listening to one another read Holy Scripture, some of us learned what is meant by 'the living word of God.'"
--Barbara Brown Taylor in Leaving Church

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