February 23, 2009

senseful worship

I am a strong believer in using all of our minds, bodies and souls in worship. And one of the primary ways that I try to encourage people to reach that place is by thinking of all of our five senses and the worship experience. What are the things we hear? What kinds of smells do the scriptures bring to mind? What does grace taste like? What does the gospel feel like? How can we use color and images to see God?

Now - all of that is much easier said than done. It takes so much work to craft worship experiences and to be honest, for the most part I stick to a basic liturgy and try to throw one of the senses we neglect in worship (taste, touch, smell) in every now and then.

I have been thinking a lot about wanting to pick this practice back up again for Lent - even if I focus on just one sense each week. The scriptures for Lent 1B include the promise of God to Noah in the rainbow, and two years ago, we used that scripture in our emerging worship service in Nashville to literally paint a rainbow among the congregation. We had six canvases set up around the worship space and people were invited to travel among them and write/paint images, words, colors that expressed their understanding of promise and covenant.

I would LOVE to do that with my congregation. It would incorporate touch, color, movement, engage our minds etc.

I'm having more troubles thinking of what to do with the next week and the Lent 2B scriptures. Our theme is "Challenge" and the focus is on taking the leap of faith to trust in God's promises - using Romans 4:20-22 and Mark 8:34-35

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