Pray Always/Pray All Ways
Reawakening the Senses by Encountering God through Sight, Sound, Smell, Taste, Touch, and Intuition.
A six week Lenten series to prepare us for Easter.
“Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery it is. In the boredom and pain of it, no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it, because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.”
― Frederick Buechner, Now and Then: A Memoir of Vocation
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us—that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete. 1 John 1: 1-4
Each week during Lent, our texts, liturgies, and other aspects of worship will encourage us to live a “fully embodied faith”* by focusing in on a particular sense. We’ll also cultivate the underused (in worship) senses of touch, taste, and smell by practicing the sacrament of communion each week during Lent (with the likely exception of Palm/Passion Sunday). On the other hand, we’ll also be deprived of some of our usual sights and sounds (the shiny brass processional cross and candlesticks on the altar are veiled or replaced, the word “Alleluia” won’t be spoken aloud in our songs or liturgies) in order to “reacquaint” us with those sights and sounds once again on Easter morning.
March 9: Changed from Glory Into Glory. The overwhelming sight of the Transfigured Christ. 2 Peter 1: 16-21 and Matthew 17: 1-9
March 16: The First and the Last Language: Human Touch. Joshua 3: 14-17, Matthew 8: 1-4, 14-17
March 23: Fully Known: Intuition in the Life of Faith 1 Corinthians 13:12 and John 4: 5-42
March 30: “Hear, O Israel:” Hearing and Making Noise for the Kingdom Deuteronomy 6: 4-9, Romans 10: 12-20,
April 6: “Taste and See that the Lord is Good” Welcoming Others to the Table Psalm 34:8 and Matthew 25: 31-46
(Special guest preacher Dr. Amy Oden, Professor of Early Church History, St. Paul School of Theology at OCU. Preaching on a subject of her scholarly expertise—Hospitality in the Church. After the service, we feast on the scrumptious taste of Brined Smoked Turkey, and she offers a lecture incorporating the beautiful sights of the World’s Holiest Places.)
April 13: “The House Was Filled With the Fragrance:” The Smell of the Greatest Love Palm and Passion Sunday, John 12: 1-19 and John 15:13
*A disclaimer-we acknowledge that we have all navigated the world around us with varying degrees of use of the five traditional physical senses, and the three additional senses of vestibular (balance), introceptive (the body’s sense of what is going in internally), and proprioceptive (the body’s sense of where it is in space). In some cases, a deficiency in one area has led to a heightened ability in another area. The aim of this series is to push us all toward an individually fuller realization and appreciation of God’s presence in our midst, and not to associate a value judgment with how well one might see, hear, or so on. As Paul said, “We have all fallen short of the glory of God.”