Lately I’ve been going to a liturgical church. In case you are not familiar with that term think the protestant version of a Roman Catholic mass.
What I have enjoyed about reconnecting with liturgy is the focus the entire service has building up to the celebration of communion. Everything points to the body of Christ, which is the culmination of our time together. We spend time preparing our hearts, receiving the word, and then following Christ’s instruction to “do this in remembrance of me”.
But my absolute favorite part of the service is the reading from one of the gospels – the narratives about the life of Jesus. Before the gospel is read, it is brought out into the center aisle where the congregation is standing. As the reader makes his way to the center of the room, everyone turns to face him.
Not only do I love the symbolism: that Jesus dwelt among the people; that Jesus is the central focus. But I also love that in addition to looking at the gospel reader, we are now all looking at each other.
While the narrative of Jesus is read, I can see the faces of almost everyone in the room.
It is a reminder that we are the body.
Church is another word for the group of followers of Christ, and we are all interconnected.
My presence has meaning, so does the person’s next to me, and it is all oriented around Christ.
Together we are the image of Christ to a lost, broken, and dying world.
And the reading of the gospel reminds me of that every week.
Regardless of the type of church you attend, you can have this experience. Even if the focus of your service is on the front stage, look around.
See the people.
This is the body that you are directly interconnected with.
What is your experience of being part of the body of Christ?