September 8, 2011

a time and a place (#1bread1body)

I am a child of my age.  I carry my cell phone with me everywhere.  I check facebook at least five times a day. In between episodes of my favorite streaming television shows on netflix, I hop onto an online forum to chat about what I just saw. I blog. I tweet. I sometimes play MMORPG's.

All of that means I am connected to hundreds of people every single day.  Sometimes superficially... but sometimes on a really deep and intimate level.

I got to thinking the other day that the only time and place that I do not have my cell phone by my side is when I am at the front of the sanctuary next to the pulpit.

First of all, it would be totally embarassing if my cell phone went off during worship.  Egads!

But second of all, what would people think if the pastor, the one who is leading it all, casually glanced down to see what was happening in the twitterverse, or heaven forbid, played angry birds during the offeratory! (we actually have a really amazing pianist, and I would never dream of doing anything but listening to her play... really - she's awesome)

It is a strange disconnect, however.  For the rest of my life, I am connected electronically to other people, but for that small chunk of time it is just me and the people I can see/touch/smell in front of me.

75% of me thinks that is a good thing.  We need to disconnect every now and then.  We need to spend time with people in real and authentic ways - without being distracted by the next buzz from a phone. And afterall, worship is our response to God.  The holy is the center of worship... not what my neighbor's dog had for breakfast.

But the other 25% of me believes there is a time and a place for everything.  That in the right way, under the right circumstances, with the right intentions, some things just work.

Like painting a mural during the reading of scripture to illustrate the creation story.

Or dancing wildly with hands clasped together with the children to tell of the perichoretic nature of God.

Or telling jokes for an entire hour as we laugh in the face of death.

Or cussing from the pulpit.

We have the entire globe at our fingertips through social media... and it would be a shame to let those connections sit idly by on a day like World Communion Sunday when we celebrate our unity.

A friend of mine, Sean McRoberts and I, dreamed up this thing called "One Bread, One Body."  For one morning, we want to hold our cellphones proudly and watch as the prayers of people all across the world are brought together in our times of worship.  We are using the conferencing capabilities of to create a live stream of these prayers and pictures that any congregation that wants to participate can use to join us. 

There is a time and a place for many things... and I cannot dream up a better way to join together so that all may be one.

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