It is the week of the 7th Sunday in Epiphany. Ash Wednesday is nipping at my heels. Our church’s worship team is discerning our Lenten worship theme and related services. Ecumenical Holy Week events are being planned by my local clergy group. The Vermont Conference Annual Meeting (which I am helping to plan worship for) is just about 2 months away. Oh yeah, and there is a Sunday, again, this week. I feel like I am working as a barista at Churchbucks as the worship services stand in line waiting to order: 7th Sunday in Epiphany – no whip, Ash Wednesday-no room, and Maundy Thursday- half-caf. Order up!
This is NOT a complaint from a tired pastor. It is a reminder to myself, and to all of us who plan worship in the church, that we have work to do; it is a reminder that even now, people are lining up, marking their calendars, and setting aside time to gather together to worship our God in Christ; it is a reminder that in Vermont, where once again the polls tell us that we are the least religious state in the nation, that those who do gather for worship do so because they really want/need to be there; it is a reminder that many of us are struggling with the headlines and politics of our time and are looking for answers and connection and strength through worship; and it is reminder that WORSHIP matters…a lot.
So yes, for me, and for many of you, there is a lot of worship to plan this time of year. It can feel overwhelming and exhausting and sisyphean. Order up! On to the next service. I think there is a need to be honest about that, but also a need to move beyond it. There is a need to find ways to rekindle ourselves for the planning and worship that lies ahead.
I won’t presume to know what will rekindle you and only you know what works best for you. I will presume though, to write this as a kick in the pants, to remind you that WORSHIP MATTERS, and to exhort you to do whatever it is you need to do to set yourself ablaze in a way that results in inspiring worship. After all, Lent is coming. Easter is coming. Sunday is coming. And right now, the worship line is forming…
© Rev. Kevin Goldenbogen, 2017