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Living

Worship

The challenge of Colossians -

'If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hid with Christ in God. ' (Colossians 3: 1-3),

- goes not only to the roots of our daily attitudes to life but also to our outlook in worship. Already we are one with him. As Paul puts it, we have died with Christ in becoming Christians and our life now is 'hid with Christ in God.'

Not that we are already perfect, but we are in that school of Christ which, as we persevere in faith and daily living, will bring us to that completeness we all desire in God. So what happens at eucharist is not our doing, because we come at the invitation of Jesus to his Supper. He is the host and it is he who provides the meal and the drawing together into one of the disciples.

If we are already united with Christ as persons, how can that be reflected in the way eucharistic worship is organized? Perhaps our steps from home towards the local church should be seen more as a preparation for a dance than for a service or meeting! The two women who met Jesus on the first Easter day were said to have grasped hold of his feet in their excitement and astonishment. Worship is about love.

If we are going to share with the Lord in a Supper that transcends ordinary human boundaries, our imagination, hearts and bodies need to be prepared for that joint encounter with him and with fellow Christians. Together we are to become renewed in the life that we have already received in Jesus and which in the Supper we shall know again as we share in the bread of heaven and the cup of life.

We really need the space of the universe if we are looking to participate in the assembly of those who are the friends of him who is 'the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation.' Perhaps the dynamics of our worship as Christians not only needs to be released into a proper space but also that, as individual persons, we are being invited in worship to respond in a way which engages our total human potentialities. Worship is about love.

Worship is about love. It requires love to be incarnated in movement towards others and with others so that it may flow outwards. In the heavenly space without sanctuary or pews the president of the gathering, together with us all, can be linked in a movement which is neither moving nor still but knit into the 'still moving' of love in the divine, to be incarnated in human hearts and bodies.

© Aelred Arnesen

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