Saturday, February 27, 2010

filled vs. centered

A little over a month ago I was in Chicago for two weeks with 20 other senior christian educational ministries majors on our two week capstone trip. As we’ve back at Taylor there’s been many things that have got me reflecting on that trip as there was much to unpack (visiting around 30 ministries I would venture to say). Specifically I remember a service we went to at an Anglican church. I was sitting next to my professor, who knew I had been going to a local Episcopal church for a while. She leaned over as the services was over and said, “That was centering.”

Ever since that conversation, I’ve found myself using that same word to refer to my little Episcopal church in Marion (Gethsemane) as people ask about it--centering. Frequently I hear people talking about being filled after a service or saying that that one church just didn’t ever fill me. Much of this is based upon if the sermon was engaging or the music stirring. Now these things are not wrong in the slightest; I do not mean to say that. But as I’ve been thinking about why I went back to the Gethsemane, it comes back to this idea of centering.

The service there is not one that is going to fill you. Instead of everything building up to a sermon, it is all building up to the Eucharist. The liturgy is so beautiful as it reminds up of who God is no matter where we are at. Each week I come away not feeling filled, but centered. Centered in that I am reminded of who Christ is, what he has done, and who I am in light of how he is.

I’m thinking that I want to be a part of a centering church over a filling church in the future.


Elena Forsythe said...

Cool distinction.
I like your thoughts.

Keane said...

Prompted by your father's blog, I checked out yours. And I just wanted to tell you that I love it. Such beautiful insights, and glimpses into your experiences. Thanks for have a new blog fan!