Tuesday, April 15, 2014

worship and justice

I am re-reading Crossan and Borg's Last Week and pondering the place of worship and of justice in the church and how they are inextricably tied one to another. Borg and Crossan say "...God is a God of justice and righteousness and when worship substitutes for justice, God rejects God's temple - or, for us today, God's church."

It is not lost on me that I, along with most of my clergy colleagues, are more concerned with worship bulletins and at the many liturgies we lead during this Holy Week, than, it seems, with most anything else. Everything in Holy Week other than church seems to go out the window. But, as Crossan and Borg would say, we do this at our own peril.

I took the photograph below two years ago when I visited Grahamtown, South Africa. I know as well as anyone that often, unconscious details often convey intense meaning to the other: the locked front door of the church on Sunday morning, for example.  In this very Anglican Cathedral I found this beautiful artwork which appeared to have been stuffed in a corner, out of sight, at the very back of the Cathedral. And I found that very disturbing, since its proper place would be up front and visible. It was a case of worship trumping justice to this outsider's eye, and so today it comes back to me.

Please pray for the church this Holy Week, that we might always remember the primary place of justice.

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