I really liked the moment in worship this morning when we all said the Lord's Prayer together, but each of us in our own languages. We also did this at the World Council of Churches 10th Assembly that I attended in Busan, South Korea last year.
With thousands of people in worship, I can only imagine the number of languages that were spoken there that day. It really was just a hum of noise rising up. An amazing, diverse, unified chorus. (You can hear the leaders in Korean and Spanish (I think?) at 1:30:51 of this video... and watch to the end for a good shot of how many people were there.) I remember even doing it in our smaller Bible study groups - I had German on one side of me, Arabic on the other. We were all coming from very different places, but praying the same words. As Huda said during her sermon, that is what it means when we say "the holy catholic church" in the Apostles' Creed - the church is universal, inclusive and diverse.
And that ties in so well with the other scripture reading we heard this morning about the parts of the body. We all have gifts, given to us by the Spirit, that we bring. And it is good to reflect on this every once in a while, I think. What are my gifts? How is the Spirit blowing through me so that I can live and serve? And what about St. Andrew's - what are our gifts as a church? Are we allowing ourselves to be filled with the Spirit as we worship, make decisions, go out and serve?
It is actually kind of reassuring to me. Sometimes I can get very discouraged - we are a long way from realizing the kingdom of God here on earth. But knowing that the Spirit is supporting us, blowing through us as we try to create that kingdom, knowing that we are not alone - that fills me with hope and possibility. Indeed, we couldn't do it alone. As we concluded the Prayers of Thanksgiving and Intercession today:
We pray as the people of the Spirit, who lights our fires, who fills our lungs with air, who blows us out into the world to live and serve.