Giving thanks today for the gift of marriage to Joe Pagano for 29 years and reflecting on this quote by the late Rachel Held Evans. We are definitely clumsy and imperfect, but even in our stumbling and mistakes, God is giving us great joy.
Marriage is not an inherently holy institution. And it cannot magically be made so by the government, by a priest, or even by the church. Rather, marriage is a relationship that is made holy, or sacramental, when it reflects the life-giving, self-sacrificing love of Jesus. All relationships and vocations—marriage, friendship, singleness, parenthood, partnership, ministry, monastic vows, adoption, neighborhoods, families, churches—give Christians the opportunity to reflect the grace and peace of the kingdom of God, however clumsily, however imperfectly. For two people to commit themselves not simply to marriage, but to a lifetime of mutual love and submission in imitation of Christ is so astounding, so mysterious, it comes close to looking like Jesus’ stubborn love for the church. ―Rachel Held Evans, Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church
Here are 10 great Quotes about Worship from contributors to Common Prayer.
It is too easy to think that the success of our worship depends on the choir, or the preacher, or the celebrant when it really depends on God’s unrelenting and eager openness to our offerings. Remember, this is the God to whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid.
Stephen Fowl, “Singing in the Choir”
In worship, in holy play, we engage in a game with one another and most of all with God. There is no end or purpose to it. It is a glorious waste of time.
Rodney Clapp, “The Play of the People”
As I kneel and stand, sing and pray, my voice melds with a hundred other voices, and time falls away.
Kim Edwards, “Ordinary Time”
I participated in the liturgy with my whole being: hands, feet, legs, knees, ears, voice, lips, tears, body, mind, and spirit. In the silence of deep remembrance, I was recognized as a daughter of God and welcomed by others as a living member of Christ’s body.
BJ Heyboer, “Being Remembered in the Liturgy”
If worship is about participation in the self-giving love of the triune God that liberates and creates new life, then that means we must also share in God’s solidarity with the vulnerable and God’s hope for the whole creation.
Michael Battle, “The Sound of One Hand Clapping”
Episcopal worship is far from passive. It is engaging and physical: a workout for body, mind, and spirit.
Melissa Deckman Fallon, “Bad Episcopalian”
The Sunday liturgy ingrains in us the gracious, ineffable scheme of God to pour out God’s saving love for a world that has lamentably and with pronounced consistency turned its face away from God.
Duane A. Miller, “Spreading Blessing to Those Who Don’t Work for It: Liturgical Reflections of a Cross-Cultural Missionary”
[W]ithin the liturgy, God has space to heal, help, and illuminate.
Ian Markham, “How the Book of Common Prayer Kept Me in the Family of Faith”
The Risen One gives himself to me, not just theoretically, but sacramentally. I feed upon the fullness of his risen life and it nourishes both soul and body. It is not for me commemorative, but generative. It makes me me, in Christ.
J. Neil Alexander, “Of Sacraments and Sundays”
We join in worship and service, creating a community that shares the unconditional welcome offered at Jesus’s table.