We had our Covenant Service in the Shaw Section of the Grahamstown Methodist Circuit this morning. Do you know what was so awesome? Standing up in this high pulpit. reading the words and having the congregation sing the response so that you would hear it the other side of Grahamstown. It was majestic!
Also gives you this feeling of P O W E R. You speak and the people respond with one voice. But there is a deep sense of the awareness of the glory of God. I'm not one for formal worship and I am afraid that we can hide behind forms and liturgies, but there can also be the real sense of awe at God's presence and amazement that he accepts glory from us. That touched me pretty deeply.
On the other hand was the sense of the impersonal. The preacher, liturguists, congregation don't seem to make heart to heart contact. It is all in the form and the liturgy. Even the sermon which Rev Mathiti gave with great feeling - somehow it wasn't like I'm used to. I need to get my thoughts straight on that one. I like to be part of the congregation, but with a different calling. It's like the minister is not really part of the people. Not necessarily right or wrong - but different. My calling is not to separated from the people. I hope that's not an important aspect that I've got wrong!
It was the first time that I have assisted at Communion in my dog collar. The stewards in the African traditional church are not allowed to help with distribution??!? So Rev Mathiti and I gave communion to all 500 or more people present. Even rushing through it, it gave me such a sense of God's love for the individual. The body of Christ broken for YOU. Each one is worth the time and effort.
It was a long service, but I learnt so much and felt so much.