Sunday, September 12, 2010

3 Worship Services + 2/3 Blessing + 6 Continents = 1 Family of God

After practicing, practicing, practicing my Cantonese for Sunday's liturgy, I was ready to lead worship with gusto on Sunday.... only to stumble and stutter who knows what language into the microphone.  For a grand finale, I stood up to give the closing blessing... and promptly forgot one whole person of the Holy Trinity (All were blessed in the name of the Father and the Spirit only... so, my good theologian friends... did the congregation  receive a whole blessing or only two thirds of a blessing?) It reminded me painfully of my earliest days as a seminarian, when I would garble the invocation and forget whole parts of the liturgy.

Afterwards, instead of giving me their usual lovingly exaggerated compliments, "Oh your Chinese is getting so good!",  my kind Chinese parish members instead said, " Oh, you are working so hard on your Chinese!"


But here's an amazing thing I realized on Sunday night... this weekend I worshiped with people from all six (inhabited) continents!  At the prison worship on Saturday we had prisoners from South America and Africa, on Sunday morning we had lots of folks from Asia and one from North America (yours truly) and on Sunday night (at Amazing Grace in Kowloon Tong) a couple of Germans and an Australian couple joined in with the mostly Filipina congregation, to make the intercontinental worship complete.

In God's house we need not be segregated by our language abilities, or lack thereof.

7Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham. 8The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: "All nations will be blessed through you." 9So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.   -- Paul writing to the Galatians, chapter 3

1 comment:

  1. Wow, thanks for putting that into words. I'm having the same exact effect with my attempts to learn and speak Spanish! At some point, "may God bless our faithful efforts" doesn't seem good enough anymore... at least you got the third person in there, so Come Holy Spirit and release our tongues with good news in your language of love!