Word of the Week

Why the Church? (This Week)

Holy Week has begun and the pace of church life this week is faster than ever. Ministers love weeks like this when worship planning and liturgical reflection take center stage (we  enjoy these things and were trained to do them afterall), but we are also glad when Easter Monday comes around and gifts of time allow us to catch our breath again.  For those of us leading worship, it will be an emotional week of many lows (the sadness of Good Friday always seems to put me in a somber mood) and the Sunday that we look forward to the entire year, Easter (always a great high attendance day to remind me what it is like for the church to be alive)!

As we participate in the life of Jesus over the next several days in a more intense way than normal, we do because we believe as members of the Christian faith that Holy Week and ultimately Easter is where meaning is found.  This upcoming week is where our Christian story comes to life.  Without the events of Holy Week, the church would simply cease to exist.

Last Wednesday night in our Lenten class which is studying Barbara Brown Taylor's book: Speaking of Sin: the Lost Language of Salvation the group was discussing why having a conversation about sin ultimately aids in us having hope that things could get better in our messed up lives.  Taylor's words came in to guide us on this one, directing us back to the church:

The church exists so that God has community in which to save people from meaninglessness, by reminding them who they are and what they are for. The church exists so that God has a place to point people toward a purpose as big as their capabilities, and to help them identify all the ways they flee from this high call. The church exists so that people have a community in which they may confess their sin-- their own turning from life, whatever form that destructiveness may take for them-- as well as a community that will support them to turn back again. The church exists so that people have a place where they may repent of their fear, their hardness of heart, their isolation and loss of vision, and where-- having repented-- they may be restored to fullness of life.

So, why the church this week? Come find community with faith seekers like yourself as we earnestly look at our lives and see the places where we've all missed the mark of God's best for us. Come be a part of the story of the church's becoming. Come receive the grace of new life possibilities.

What a great week when all of these gifts are so pronounced and present for us. I eagerly look forward to sharing Maundy Thursday special services with the Washington Plaza family on Thursday at 7 pm as well as with the Reston Community at large on Friday at noon. See you soon!