As you may know, the word, liturgy, comes from the Greek words, laos meaning “people” and ergos meaning “work.” Thus, liturgy is often described as the work of the people. Too often, the church has been content to see worship as the sum total of its work. We go to church. We are members of a church. Even our ubiquitous community signs, “The Episcopal Church Welcomes You” betray an inward orientation: come to us.
However, when I travel our diocese and visit you, I see a different church emerging. I see a church focused beyond four walls. I see the work of the people manifesting in clusters of personalities doing simple, yet life-giving things. I see individuals stepping out in ways that are both holy and vulnerable.
All of this is the work of the church. All of this is the of body of Christ breathing new life into God’s creation. The work of the church is liturgy. It is prayers and worship in our sanctuaries. And it is your daily acts as a part of the body: a kind word spoken at the right moment, a simple “how are you,” to a cashier, a gracious moment in rush-hour traffic—all these things can have a positive impact that ripples throughout another person’s life. And what are our lives but a series of moments?
In this season, we celebrate the work of the church as we find ways to be the body of Christ in this changing time and place. Acts of mission are like seeds. When you spread them and nurture them, they grow. Let us gather to pray. Let us go forth to serve. Let us be the church!
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