The Poetry of Worship

“The boldness of our love is pleasing to you, O Lord, just as it pleased you that we should steal from your bounty.” – St. Ephrem the Syrian, “Hymns on Faith”, 16:5

One of the many things I appreciate about our congregation is our times of corporate worship. When we gather together on Saturday nights for worship I witness a beautiful reflection of God’s work in the life of Wheatland.

Each week we have several people who coordinate and play music for us in our worship service. There are others who create the slides and the visual imagery that is in the room where we are gathered. There are also those who participate in crafting our liturgy. Our liturgy is the combination of music, prayer and Scripture readings that leads u to worship and participate in the Lord’s Supper.

The quote above is from St. Ephrem. He was a 4th century Christian living in Syria. His life began just as the large scale persecution of Christians came to an end. Later in his life, however, the Church came under significant persecution again. During all of this time Ephrem focused his efforts on helping the church worship.

His life was devoted to the work of crafting prayers, hymns, and sermons. He is considered a poet and the quote above reveals some that skill. For Ephrem and the early church, theology was not divorced from doxology. Theology and worship belonged together. Worship was theologically rich because theology gave birth to worship and worship gave birth to theology.

I want to say thanks to all of you who contribute to our worship services at Wheatland. If you lead worship, play an instrument, create a slide, set-up a table, bake the communion bread, read a Scripture, pray aloud, pray silently, sing along with community, recite the creed or warmly greet the person next to you you are following Ephrem’s lead.

Together, through worship, we craft a response to the movement of God’s grace. All following in the footsteps of our ancestor in the faith. Let’s keep up this tradition by worshiping together.