September 5, 2008

The Art of the Spirit

There are moments in worship where something indefinable somehow breaks open and you find yourself in a whole new space. That happened to me yesterday. My friend and I, both now “churchless,” were in chapel, and it was a really lovely service. The music was amazing; the preaching was good; there were warm welcomes and sweet blessings. And then – all of a sudden – we were in a new landscape. In ways too mysterious even to consider, there was an unexpected public affirmation of a ministry that had seemed now to be on hold, and the gathered community was shown a new understanding of art and spirit.

It was a carefully planned service, with every detail scripted out, I’m sure. But there are some things that transcend planning, and it was that part of our worship that brought tears and joy and the sharp mixture of regret at what has been lost combined with gratitude for what remains. In other words, the Spirit works in ways we do not control and when we least expect it, and we are bowed low with wonder and awe in Her presence. And so it was for me yesterday. Thank God!

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