Sunday, December 30, 2007

Unfamiliar View from the Pew

I had the rare pleasure of being a worshiper in the pew at my brother's church instead of worship leader today.  This happens only 2 or 3 times a year, so I try to put the "pastor-leader-critical evaluative" part of me towards the back, and be the open receptive worshiper instead.  This, I am reminded of again today, is hard.  When you so rarely get to NOT be the one making sure things flow smoothly, the one preaching the message, the one staying aware of what is coming three steps ahead, it can be a challenge to JUST BE in worship.

At least it is for me, worship nerd that I am.

Here's an example of what was going on in my head:

The music is being beautifully played and its a joy to sing (man, I wish I had musicians in my area!)

The liturgy is being spoken  (I wonder why he chose to cut out all those parts?  I wonder where they got that confession, I like it.  Too bad they had to cancel the baptism today, that could be a bear to reschedule.)

The sermon is being delivered (boy, he really does need to work on his delivery!!, but I really like how he's tying in how the difficult text of the murder of the innocents and the flight to Egypt shows us Jesus really is Emmanuel, God With Us in the reality of this world, which is a dark and violent place.)

And so on.

I and my Rev hubby did appreciate worshipping together as a family (normally we aren't even in the same county on Sunday mornings) and we were able to BE worshipers pretty much.  It was nice, and nice to be with my family.

The highlight of the service was the children's sermon.  Their director of youth and children's ministry called the children up, and Lil' Princess went up with her cousins.  The director pulled a figurine out to show to the kids, and asked them who they thought he was.  She got guesses of "Jesus" and such, which is what she wanted.  But then, my little sweetheart piped up nice and loud.  She said, as she bounced up and down in excitement, "It's Joseph!!!"  Which was exactly right, God love her.  But this was not what the director was expecting.  She was planning on giving them a number of clues, and was going to help lead them to figure out that she was going to tell them about Joseph.  But she hadn't planned on my girl.  It was like someone spilling the punch line of your favorite joke before you'd gotten the first line of the joke out.  The director recovered pretty well, she showed them some of the clues she had been planning on using to help them figure out that it was Joseph, and then skipped ahead to her little lesson about how Joseph was so great because he listened to God.

My hubby and I smiled at each other and murmured "That's our girl!  Leave it to the preacher's kid."

So it was a nice Sunday morning, the Gospel was preached, God was praised, and worship did not go as planned but was just fine nonetheless.  

Not that I was analyzing it, or anything!  ;)


Diane said...

I feel the same way sometimes (about worship). Hard to take off the critical lens and just worship!

welcome! I'm a Lutheran pastor too. Used to be in South Dakota, moved to the big city and got married. no miracle baby, but we do have a miracle dog!

glad you joined!

Jan said...

Welcome to RevGals, PS! I love the story about your little girl. How blessed to have her. That's how I feel about my fourth child, who was a complete surprise, but such a blessing.

Sue said...

What a lovely recounting of your worship experience. Count me among the worship nerd community as well. *sigh*

Welcome to the RevGals!

karlajean said...

welcome to revgals..and I enjoyed all aspects of your blog...I grew up Lutheran in western ND, and those roots have never lesfed (whoops) left me.
I am now UCC and lovin' Boston, after a wild and wooly journey of my own! Stay warm and centered....

Muthah+ said...

Im one of those Episcopalians working in a Lutheran church. Welcome to revgals.

I have a hard time not being critical too. But I am always on the look out for new ways of doing things.

I need help introducing the ELW to a bunch who really don't want to change. Glad you joined us.

Lorna said...

a warm welcome to rev gals from Finland.

Loved this post - both about how it's hard to be a worshipper when you are used to leading and how your little daughter stole the punchline and yes how the leader recovered :) Good for them both :)

P.S. said...

Thank you for all the warm welcomes! Muthah, I do actually have some experience introducing ELW to reluctant, traditional Lutherans, so I'd be glad to share my adventures.