Well, after tuesday’s dabble in Eastern Orthodox prayer, I have since partaken in Episcopalian, Community Church Edinburgh-ish and Roman Catholic prayer.
I have been LOVING it!
But the weirdest thing is that they’re all very similar . . .
I think it’s because of the services that I’ve been to (I missed the Salvation Army one on Monday and the Church of Scotland congregation goes tomorrow) but still, it’s quite eye opening to see how same-y we are. Every service has involved some kind of written/textual liturgy, using much of the same language. We’re all seeking to praise God, we all speak about Jesus with the same reverence, we all respect Scripture as God’s word. It can be difficult to understand, when we’re able to come together like this, why we’ve bothered separating in the first place! And if not that, at the very least, why we make such a big deal of it all the time and are desperate to make sure we’re not confused with that group of Christians, or that church over there.
Basically, we’re all part of one family, one body, and I think it’s time we started acting like it a little more. I really think churches should be sharing resources, and skills, and people. There’s no point in us all individually aiming for the same thing (the glory of God and to share the gospel in our community) and climbing over each other to do it. If we worked together, with our different ideas, strengths and heritages to support us, we’d be far more effective. Churches such as mine, which are larger and younger, in particular, should be doing more to support the older and smaller congregations. One of my favourite things about this week has been praying with more elderly members of the community, whose faith is just so inspiring. There’s so much we could learn from them and they would be so grateful of a little help in their churches from us.
I appreciate that half an hour meetings are perhaps not sufficient to show up the differences in our theologies, but surely the fact that they can show how unified we actually are says a lot more?
Oh, and I now have this odd desire to attend a quaker meeting at some point. Anyone volunteering to come with?