“And when is there time to remember, to sift, to weigh, to estimate, to total? I will start and there will be an interruption and I will have to gather it all together again” – Tillie Olsen
Worship should speak to a person’s mind, body and soul. It is an opportunity to lay down one’s daily pre-occupations and go deeper into reflecting on what is most meaningful. Particularly now when the world at large is at such high levels of conflict and distress, providing space for silence and celebration, connection and direction, can be both soothing and liberating.
To me, religion serves the purpose of reminding us about two essential aspects of being human. On the one hand, we have a deep and important need to be seen for who we really are, for what is special and unique in us. On the other hand, religion also helps remind us that we are part of something larger than ourselves. We need one another. We need the myriad and mysterious gifts of the earth and all its peoples.
Ideally, worship should speak to both of these perspectives: when our souls feel shrunken into a nameless, faceless mask, we need liberation. When we hit the wall of recognition that we are not fully in control nor in charge, perhaps we can let go of the fruitless quest to be all things for all people.
In stories and in song, in poetry and prose, in silence and in timeless tradition, the whole experience of worship can help us get there. Preaching is only one part of this experience, but it is what ties it all together, pulling seemingly unrelated strands into a weaving of the bright colors of new enlightenment and the earthy tones of comfort.
Learning to do worship in a time of social distancing has brought many challenges and also presents opportunities for new learning and creativity.
Below you’ll find both YouTube videos and pdfs of sermon scripts.