Today’s Reading Romans 15:1 – 1 Corinthians 14:40
“I want you to come to our church today. I will be inside waiting for you. Once you go to the narthex and then into the sanctuary. You can sit in a pew in the nave, I will be up in the chancel. at first , talking to the pastor by the pulpit and then I will have to get the elements for communion from the sacristy. I should be all done before the prelude starts. Oh and by the way, bring the kids. We just love young people.”
I have to be honest. I had to go online and read some of these terms up again. I know them, I just forget what many of them are. See I have this little problem, I was born in 1966, not 1566, so much of this language is not natural for me. Of course, it is not for most people either. Yet, too often the church tries to speak in tongues to a world that just isn’t interested.
I realize that this is not the case for every person. I really do. I do know that it is the case for many. We assume they will understand why we stand when we play the benediction and bring up the MONEY to the altar. We assume they will understand they need to read their bulletin and know to stand and be ready to sing because the organ player will be playing immediately. The truth is there is just way too much assumption that goes on in church.
In my experience, the repetition and old church language creates a subculture that is hard to decipher for many who may come visit us on Sundays. There is a seeming expectation that people will have to come adapt to us and learn our language and customs and learn them on their own.
Now, I know this is not what Paul is peaking about in his letter to the people of Corinth when he talks about speaking in tongues in today’s reading. I get it. However, he is really referencing order in worship. I would suggest that there is nothing “order-ish” happening when a portion of your people do not know what is going on or is trying to decipher your language.
All things to all people is what Paul writes. shouldn’t we at least try a little harder?
See ya at church!