Inhabiting our Space: Liturgy Changes, Part 2
*This is the second of a three-part series on changes to our liturgy. Read yesterday’s post here.*
Our second change is the addition of a “Gospel Procession”. Huh? That’s just a fancy liturgical way of saying that we’re going embody what Jesus, as God the Son, did in the Incarnation. John puts it this way in the first chapter of his gospel: Jesus – “the Word” of God – “became flesh and dwelt among us.” In Jesus everything that God needed and wanted to say about Himself was said. And it was not a distant shouting at us from heaven; no, God came as close as He could to speak His Word to us. He became one of us, came among us. In Jesus God’s Word walked right out into the middle of humanity so that we might hear His message of grace, forgiveness, peace, and life.
To more vividly portray that reality, each week in worship a pastor will read the final scripture (the sermon text, often the Gospel reading) not from behind the pulpit, but out in the midst of the congregation. Hopefully this will emphasize to us that even as Jesus physically came to us at His birth so too does He spiritually come to us in worship to speak! The Bible is not simply the words of men, nor the sermon solely a message from a pastor – in and through them Jesus speaks to us… and, again, not at distance, but up close and personal – from in our very midst.