Friday, October 25, 2013

Reformation Thursday

Last night I went to spin class and took a shower at the gym so that I could make it to the county-wide Reformation service.  As I finished up at the sink, another woman in my spin class came into the locker room, and we chatted.

I told her where I was going, even though I can't imagine that she fully understands.  I could almost see her confusion; I imagined her saying, "Of all the things you could do on a Thursday night, you're doing that?"

We talked about the appeal of Catholicism and the appeal of a mass that fully engages all the senses.  She talked about her frustration with the churches she's been to, with the rock bands that sing songs no one knows.  I talked about my frustration with the skill of the musicians, the inadequacy of the music as rock.

Last night's band didn't leave me disappointed.  They had a keyboard, a bassist, a guitar, and a drum kit.  Unfortunately, the instruments often overpowered the choir.  I've been to very few churches that get that balance right.  Amplified instruments with a non-amplified choir--it's hard to do.

Overall, I liked the service, although it was fairly small--not the high mass experience I'd have liked.  But it was cozy and nice for a Thursday night.  The bishop talked about looking for where God is at work in the world, and he brought it back to our synodical assembly theme of making all things new.  Where is God making things new?

I liked the chance to sing with a group.  I'm struck again by Marty Haugen's songwriting skills.  It was worth going just for the chance to sing "Gather Us In."  His language always blows me away.

I thought that Communion was a bit rushed, especially since we were such a small group.  We could have gone forward to kneel.  We could have had the bishop lay hands on us all and bless us.  Perhaps they expected a larger group.  Perhaps I'm the only one who would like the meal part of worship to be more leisurely.

I headed out humming the liturgy in the parking lot.  And not for the first time did I stop to think about what a strange life I'm living:  spin class followed by a Reformation service. 


Anonymous said...

Reformation is next week ... October 31.

If you don't believe in the Real Presence in Holy Communion ... does it really matter if it's rushed?

Kristin said...

Why would you think I don't believe in the Real Presence at Holy Communion? Lutherans do believe precisely that, as I was taught in Confirmation class long ago.

Of course, I believe that the Real Presence infuses many aspects of our lives, not just the ones that the Church deems sacraments.

Anonymous said...

The ELCA does not believe in the Real Presence or else they would have closed Communion.