More than a year ago I read somewhere that amidst all the laws and regulations, the beauty of Leviticus is that it is God showing his people how to live lives of worship, not just to obey some rules, but to have holiness and worship saturate every area of life. It made sense. It made my reading of Leviticus more interesting. It didn’t really sink in. Oh, I thought it did. It did not. Not until recently.
Since coming to California, I have regularly bemoaned the fact that I haven’t found a church. I haven’t found a place to plug in, to be part of community, to join in corporate prayer and worship. But my eyes have recently been opened to all the ways God is providing for all of those things, in ways that don’t necessarily involve a local church.
What is worship?
Is it sharing fellowship bread with strangers?
Reciting the Lord’s Prayer with classmates?
Participating in Lectio Divina at the start of a lecture?
Sharing a family meal with people you’ve only just met?
Being bathed in the singing and recitation of scripture?
I have found a heart of worship in all of these places. I think it is good preparation for what may come. We cannot be guaranteed a local church body wherever we go. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in Life Together, tells us that we who are in a church community are actually the minority and we are not called to cloister ourselves away in our churches.
For the last three weeks, I have been attending a local Greek Orthodox church (www.saint-anthonys.org). Originally this was part of an assignment, but I have been welcomed by my brothers and sisters and reminded time and again that I need not be Greek or Orthodox to be a part of their fellowship. More than anything, it has been a reminder that God cannot be contained. We of the pentacostal tradition do not hold the market on worship. Nor are the Orthodox believers (orthodox literally meaning “right doctrine”) following the only true way of worship. There is so much to be gleaned from each other, so much we can learn, new ways of worshipping to discover.