Interesting that I am attending two significantly different churches at the moment: Emmanuel Episcopal, a low church Epsicopalian congregation, and Discovery Church, a contemporary worship, non-denominational church. Both have a significantly different approach to liturgy, but this week, at Discovery’s Young Professionals Group (a focus group for Christians in their 30s), and during Father Malcolm’s homily at Emmanuel, the two converged on the subject of the relevancy of church in our lives as Christians. Is church something you just “do” once a week, out of habit or expectation? How do we live and love Christ with our whole heart when it just boils down to empty ritual after a while?
Father Malcolm emphasized our liturgy in the Episcopal Church as a “means, not an end.” They are there to ground us in the ineffable mystery of God, to bring us closer to the Divine in a physcial, methodical way. Unless we carry within us that desire to be closer to God, it is empty, and bereft of meaning. In a similar way, if we do not carry that desire with us beyond the walls of the church, if we do not try to see Christ in all things and in every person, then our live as Christians become empty as well.