We’ve begun a summer series focused on the book, Invitation to a Journey: A Road Map for Spiritual Formation by Robert Mulholland Jr. We’ll explore the concept of spiritual formation that he compares to a journey and look at it through the lens of summer vacation we’re so familiar with.
Think about a time when you went on vacation and experienced culture shock. You know, one of those, “I’m clearly not from here” experiences… You don’t understand the people, the practices, maybe even the language. The experience can be as big as traveling across the world or can be found in smaller ways right here within the United States too.
Worship, one of the spiritual disciplines, should act as a form of culture shock for each of us. That might surprise you. After all, many of us have grown up going to church! Yet, we spend the majority of our lives living in a world that does not share the same values as church. There can be similar values, but there is so much that we absorb every day from our media, work, friends, politicians, and more that is an altogether different and broken culture. When we enter into worship, we’re stepping out of that world and its brokenness and literally entering into God’s Kingdom here on earth. We’re taking time to move our focus completely onto God and meeting him.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Rom. 12:1-2)
When we’re on a trip and experience culture shock the challenge is for us to start exploring the new culture and seeing what we can learn from it. Each week we should come to worship with our eyes expecting some little “shocks” from what we’ve been immersed in all week in the world’s culture. So open yourself up, come to church, and expect to hear something different and good that will help you remember your citizenship in His Kingdom.
Hope Lutheran Church & School