|I have been mulling a question in my head for the last few days: “what is worship?” Back in the olden days, like three months ago, the answer was easy. Worship was the gathering of the faithful in order to praise God, to give thanks, to bring the suffering of the world to the altar of the Lord, and to know our connection to each other through a shared meal of Eucharist. Now the question has become not just “what is worship?”, but “what is worship when the worshipping community cannot gather?” |
I recently learned about a Haitian concept called konbit. Konbit is described as a gathering with a shared goal. In other words, a community of people comes together to accomplish something that will benefit the entire community, or in some cases, a single person in need. Apparently, konbits initially began with agriculture and the need to share the workload. So, a man would work in his neighbor’s field one day, and the neighbor would work in his field the next day. Today, we experience konbit a bit differently. I purchase only what I need so that there is something left for the next person. A group of neighbors set up a facetime connection so we can sing happy birthday to my father in real time. One person organizes a weekly gathering on Zoom so many of us can see each other and check in. Konbit. We come together to accomplish what will benefit others.
So, back to worship. Our worship is konbit. When we each launch the Morning Prayer service on Sunday mornings from our websites (say at 8:00 or 10:30), we are virtually gathering, not just for ourselves, but for everyone else who is gathering as well. We are creating a community of souls, coming together for the purpose of giving thanks, naming the suffering, and connecting to others. We may not be able to see each other but know this – there are others. You are not alone. There is you and me and everyone else singing those hymns and saying those prayers and across the ether we become one. One day it will be different. But for now, remember that your worship matters. It matters to God. And it matters to the rest of us.