Saturday, August 27, 2005

Order of worship from "Movement of the Spirit"

Welcome to….
Movement of the Spirit

An Interactive Worship Experience

Aug. 21, 2005: Focus

Please find seat on the couch and read the introduction before beginning.

You’re probably wondering what to do.

How long has it been since you’ve had this feeling? Is it hesitancy? Is it excitement? Before you scan down this guide to try and figure out what it is that you’re “supposed to do,” simply taste this moment. You may want to find a place to simply sit with the feeling for some time. Remember when you’ve had it before. Interactive worship asks that we open ourselves to an experience. It asks us to participate—but it does not tell us exactly what we should be getting out of the experience. Take a moment now in silence or prayer or journaling to ask yourself, “Why am I here?” What does my intuition tell me about God’s Vision for me in this particular place and time? The theme of this first evening of interactive worship is FOCUS. God’s Vision for our lives is in crystal clear focus. Sometimes we have to take time to shift our own focus in order to see God’s Vision. As you sit in silence before moving to the stations, imagine yourself looking through a camera, turning the manual focus in the attempt to find a clear picture.

Station 1 A life out of focus

Paul writes to the Romans to live a “life according to the Spirit” rather than a “life according to the flesh.” Later, he tells them to “be not conformed to this world (or time), but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so you may discern what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
What in your life distracts you from living a “life of the Spirit?” When Paul writes for us to “be not conformed to this time,” what is it that immediately comes into your mind? On the back of an index card, write or make a symbol, or cut out from one of the magazines something you feel best represents that struggle. Light a small candle with the central candle, and hang the index card on the clothesline. When we share the weight of our struggles, we can all bear the load.

Station 2: The Sound of Silence

There are the usual places we think we know where to find the voice of God—It has always been this way. Read 1 Kings 19: 9-18. Elijah’s people had heard the voice of God in all the places that Elijah observed in the cave, but Elijah had patience to listen for the authentic word of God, even if it was not coming through the channels he was used to. We have a lot of noise in this day and age. Many of us feel uncomfortable in the complete silence. Yet God asks us to wait there for guidance. If we are able to quiet our minds, we may be able to discern the still, small voice that is there in every moment. This is the voice that gives us encouragement, guidance, affirmation. Sometimes we attempt to block it out with any number of things, and sometimes we simply pay attention to the “loudest” earthquakes, windstorms, and fires. Use the noise reducing headphones to cut out the noise, then trace the lines of the labyrinth with the stick or your finger, or simply reflect on the “thunder and fire and earthquake” in which you may have not been able to discern the Word of God.

Station 3: Eyes on the Prize

Read Matthew 14: 22-33. You probably notice that Peter is able to walk on water until he becomes distracted by the crashing waves and storm around him. When he does lose his focus, he begins to sink. When have you felt so in tune with Christ that you have felt like you were able to “walk on water?” It is easy to lose focus and start sinking, but Christ will be there to grab our outstretched hand if we only call on him.
In front of you is an icon. Icons are usually 2 dimensional because the painters want the 3rd dimension (the one that gives depth) to actually fall in front of the face pictured instead of behind the face pictured. The aim is that our engagement with the icon will actually complete the painting. Focus on the eyes of Christ in this icon before you. Picture your contemplation of the icon forming the depth dimension. When you’re ready, take a leaf (be careful, they’re sharp.) and set it afloat in the punch bowl as an act of “stepping out of the boat.”

Station 4: Focused with New Vision
(Located in sanctuary)

Read Mark 8: 22-26 at the altar. Even those healed by the hands of Jesus sometimes took some time to adjust the focus of their new vision. The spiritual world of the invisible is not some infinitely far off kingdom; instead it everywhere surrounds us as an ocean; and we are like creatures lost on the bottom of the ocean floor while everywhere is streaming upward the fullness of a grace steadily growing brighter. But from the habit of immature spiritual sight, we fail to see the light bearing kingdom; most often, we fail even to assume that it exists, and therefore we only sense unclearly in our hearts the spiritual currents of what is really happening around us. As you kneel here, take the binoculars and focus them in on the center of the cross. Sometimes it takes us some time to focus in on the message of the cross, but when we do, it becomes so clear to us.

Peace to you and good night.
Next week we’ll have a traditional Bible study in preparation for another interactive worship service that you can help create. Even if you consider yourself “not very creative,” please come anyway. Remember, you have just created your own worship experience with your open heart. See you next week at 7pm in the fellowship hall.

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