Thursday, July 22, 2010

Guests at worship... Hong Kong & Wisconsin Contrasts in Churches

Last week we were guest preacher/presenters at worship at Bethel (Wednesday night) and Atonement (Sunday morning) both churches in Muskego, Wisconsin. Each church was beautiful in its own way, and each church welcomed us, and other guests,  with warmth and joy.

I was reminded of one of our most recent church visits in Hong Kong, at the Nepalese church led by a husband & wife team who were students of Wayne's.  The setting was completely different. 

  • In Wisconsin we worship in church buildings, in Hong Kong we worship mostly in schools and slightly remodeled apartments.
  • In Wisconsin we  see brilliant stained glass windows, as a reminder of the beauty of God, at the Nepalese church we saw the pastors remove their shoes before approaching the altar, as a sign of the holiness of God.
  • Each church had a cross, and was centered around the teaching of the Word,  shared prayer (especially for the sick) and as the ancient highlight of the worship service: the bread and wine which we Christians believe to be the very body and blood of the living Lord, Jesus Christ.
It is nothing short of miraculous, this way in which Christian churches  can be so different, but in essentials -- in welcoming, in worshiping, in receiving forgiveness and the new gift of life -- we are very much the same.

 " in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others."  (Romans 12:5)

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