Shane Claiborne and Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove toiled and strained to put together this amazing volume of old, new, and in-between songs, verses, and liturgies. During the first week of December, 150 communities around the world hosted "Common Prayer Parties" — Lac La Biche being one of them!
Well… Saturday, December 04 arrived…
The camera broke so there's no real visual evidence that we ever had a party. Oh well… the early Christians tended to keep a low profile anyway.
Only 3 people showed up… 2 being my parents. Oh well… my parents are saints, and bless the heart of the 4th brave soul who came.
Nothing turned out quite the way I envisioned it. With already a somewhat disturbed spirit over the state of the world, my country and community, I held onto a faint hope that perhaps others would have sensed a stirring of the Spirit and voila! A vast population of saints praying together, worshipping together as Christ moved amongst us, opening our eyes, our hearts, our spirits.
But we were a mighty force of four.
And Christ moved amongst us, opened our eyes, our hearts and our spirits… we came to find how thirsty we were for community… how desperate. The beauty of the cold December night was made greater only by the Spirit of the Living God hovering within and around a small band of human beings.
If you get the chance, get "Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals" (http://www.amazon.com/Common-Prayer-Liturgy-Ordinary-Radicals/dp/0310326192)… you won't be sorry.
"But Erin… we're evangelical. Liturgy leads to legalism and redundant worship."
It can. But I've said it before: legalism is found everywhere. Even being told to "stand" then "sit", "stand" then "sit" in our worship services can be legalistic. Have you ever stopped to think what standing before the Lord God Almighty entails?
"But Erin… we're Catholic/Anglican/Lutheran. Liturgy is boring and what we do all the time."
Perhaps. Yet… if you feel you've lost something, wouldn't it be worth taking the chance to find out how thirsty others like you really are? No matter their denomination?
You're right… this ain't the inspired Word of God. Never claims to be. But test the waters. Try it. You may end up with only 3 other people (2 of which are close family members) on a night where the camera doesn't work and the computer powerpoint is fussy, but you know what? You'll find something greater… deeper… harsher… more beautiful… powerful… comforting… and communal than you may have experienced before.
You may just find home.