Monday, April 17, 2006

He is Risen (yawn) He is Risen Indeed

I wrote in a post a while back about the typical Evangelical Liturgy. Yesterday was the big celebration in my mega-home-church. Everyone was dressed to the nines, the removable wall was out and chairs set up in the fellowship hall for overflow. You could feel the electricity (read: spirit) in the congregation as everyone got to their seats. The worship team came out and went into a kick-butt rendition of Hillsong's "My Redeemer Lives." Everyone was on their feet. The place was rockin'. People were clapping. A brave few were raising their hands, and ordinary white anglo-saxon people were moving back and forth - some even in time with the music. The Holy Spirit was on the move. There was excitement and anticipation. What's going to happen next???!

Are you kidding? We followed the Evangelical Liturgy to the letter. One fast song, then greeting and announcements. The associate pastor got up and told everyone to sit down. About ten mintues of his droning followed with a couple of random scriptures thrown in along with some kind of boring story about the church he grew up in (you guessed it - Lutheran).

[exit Holy Spirit - stage left]

It was downhill from there. I tried not to be critical or cynical. Maybe it was just me. On the way to Easter lunch at grandma's I asked my wife and teen-age daughters, "Did you sense anything change after the first song?"

[spoken with teenager inflection; eyes rolling] "Yeah! Like the whole atmosphere died."

Okay, guess I'm not the only one.

Can we...please...just once...follow the Spirit when it's moving? I sometimes think that church leadership keeps the liturgy in place because they wouldn't know what to do if Holy Spirit did something unexpected and a revival broke out.

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At 8:26 AM, Anonymous starshadowbbq said...

Our church plant has gone back to old school liturgal forms (God speaks, cong. responds) because free-form services were giving people a headache. We figured that newcomers from local art/music scene want trad. As do burnt out evange-culture wanderers, sick to the teeth of over-analysis of 'work of the Spirit'. We are even considering reintroducing the christian calendar. How post-modern.

(love yr blog by the way)


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