I just spent the last weekend with my friends in the U.S. Pacific NW Mennonite Conference. It was great, as usual. In our worship time, we had four different cultures leading in worship: Anglo, Central African, Hispanic American and Anglo homeless. The Spirit spoke to all of us in many ways.
At the same time, I was reading a biography of an Anabaptist forebear, Pilgram Marpack, which included some of the transcript of the final trial of Michael Sattler, in which he was condemned to death by fire. I have also been thinking about the early Anabaptist worship services in which they would meet in the woods, worship, read the word and pray, not knowing if they would be caught, tortured and then killed by the local magistrates. And I was thinking about how different our context is…
|"Olly olly oxen free!"|
Lines we would never hear in an early Anabaptist meeting.
“What do you mean, you forgot the guitar? How can we lead worship?”
“If I don’t have my latte, I’ll never be able to preach.”
“Don’t you be criticizing the government, after all, Paul told us to submit!”
“Look at that. Neighborhood kids broke a piece of the stained glass window. Do you know how expensive that is to replace?”
|"A little to the right, please"|
“I’d like to minister to the homeless, but our insurance won’t let us.”
“Pastor, I don’t like this translation. Can I read this from The Message?”
“There’s that woman. I hope she doesn’t ask for food for her family again.”
“Must we always sing four part harmonies? We need to buy a drum kit.”
“If they come to attack my family, I have every right to fight back.”
“I don’t want to go to a church where they don’t have childcare.”
“Which hymnal for this song?”