The People's "Liturgy" as a theophany for Ministry and Meaning.As I listen to folks who have ministries outside the walls of the Trinity Cathedral I become aware of how meaningful these ministries are to them. I see ministry connecting with meaning in an ongoing way. This meaning provides a mutual benefit as well as a benediction, i.e. good word for what is happening. One person said, “We are all winners.”
Meaning and Energy.
The conversations reveal another insight. These ministries energize the persons involved. I can feel this energy as they tell their stories. Their stories, treasured outcomes, convey an inner excitement and enthusiasm. One person who was at our listening session said, “We didn’t have enough time.” The energy is such there is more to tell.
Two Levels: Ministry and Language intertwine to form an age-old loop.
Then I had an “aha!” experience. The meaning and energy function on two levels. One level connects ministry and meaning and the other an understanding of language which adds to the meaning.
The level with language involves energy as well. Language is used to convey this insight. Language has been used by mankind to convey this insight for generations. All of a sudden the ministry and meaning activity being manifest becomes connected with what humans have done since their beginning. Here is one example.
Ministry as the people's "liturgy." An Aha! of major proportions.
The Greek word liturgy at the time of the early Christians meant the work of the people. What people did for their civic society was called liturgy. i.e. clean the street. Now we get word play with erg/urg from the centers of energy and liturgy. The word urg in Greek means energy. Energy is both expended and received as we work in a meaningful activity, i.e. ministry. Grace laden.
The early Christians knew about metaphor. They moved liturgy as the work of the people for community to the work of the people at Worship. The Eucharist is our Liturgy where we are fed by the presence of Christ. The Liturgy reads “He in us and we in Him.” We are energized with His presence and we go out into the world to do our work, our liturgy, our ministries, and meanings are renewed and generated anew.
One person said, “where we are fed moves to the community.” The word moves from liturgy in the community in early Greek society to Liturgy in our Worship and now back to liturgy in the community in our own day.
We have come full circle in our meaning and usage in the work we do and the language we use, in Church and in the community, with liturgy and Liturgy. We are one in Him.
To the Glory of God,
A sermon describing a theophany.
The Call 11 Pentecost August 25, 2019