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I'm sure we're all saddened by the fact that we'll be unable to gather for worship in our beautiful sanctuary at St. James for the foreseeable future. Therefore I thought it might be helpful to offer this reflection on worship space: 

There's a common misconception that church sanctuaries are 'spiritual' places in a 'secular' world. This dichotomy is unhelpful and not in keeping with what the Bible teaches about liturgical space.

Liturgical space is rightly-ordered, rightly-used space in a dis-placed world. Liturgical space is where our future home and sanctuary in the New Jerusalem begins to take form here on earth in the present (Rev. 21-22).

Since Jesus died and rose again, there has been no single earthly sanctuary. The people are God's temple, made of living stones (1 Pet. 2:4-8). We are God's house, which means that we are the place that shows forth the glory of God. This means that wherever God's people gather, there is liturgical space, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are our temple (Rev. 21:22)

Wherever and whenever people call upon the name of the Lord, He's there. In Christ, God invites us - the displaced children of Adam - to share His place. We are gathered into the very life of the Holy Trinity as we pray to the Father, with the Son, in the Spirit.

The church can, and has, worshipped in catacombs and caves. Many Christians today worship in house churches - especially where the church is persecuted.

Be assured that God will hear and delight in our praises wherever we may be. So during this time of displacement, let us consecrate our homes by thanksgiving, the Word and prayer (1 Tim. 4:4-5).

Join us daily at 4:30pm on the church Facebook page for a livestreamed Evensong broadcast from the living room of the Dow household. If you don't have Facebook, or if you can't tune-in at 4:30pm, you can watch a recording of the latest service here on our website. You can find a PDF of the liturgy attached below. I would be most appreciative if you could distribute this document to those without internet access so that they can pray with us on their own time.

I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face-to-face (3 John v.14).

Peace,

Chris

 

* This reflection draws from and quotes Peter Leithart, Theopolitan Liturgy, p. 18-23.