The Courage for Freedom. Hebrews 9. A Strange Thing About Freedom.
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Edward Norbeck: “Great religions have indeed arisen as ethical or philosophical principles for the guidance of man, but once they have become the province of multitudes…they have met a common fate of objectification; that is, of being cast into concrete form so that they may be actively appreciated by the eyes, ears, or other sense organs rather than remaining only abstract ideas and beliefs.” Edward Norbeck, Religion in Primitive Society, (Harper & Row, Publishers, New York, NY. 1961)p. 71
“Objectification in varying degree and form appears in all known religious complexes of primitive peoples and it has been outstanding in the religions of civilized societies.”
Eliade: “The enclosure, wall, or circle of stones surrounding a sacred place- these are among the most ancient of known forms of man-made sanctuary.” MirceaEliade, Patterns in Comparative Religion. (The World Publishing Co.,Cleveland OH, 1958) p. 370
“We have heard him say that this Nazarene, Jesus, will destroy this place and alter the customs which Moses handed down to us!”(Acts 6:14)
" . . . many worshippers . . . seek an 'experience of the holy.' They come looking for awe and reverence, mystery and transcendence. Furthermore, many of their sensory faculties need to be engaged: Their senses of sight, sound, touch, and smell are powerful avenues of communication. One glance at the Old Testament directions for orchestrating temple worship will remove all doubt that this is our task. Fire, incense, tapestry, and gold joined with ritual activities that reminded the worshiper of the reverent awe demanded of them. Bells and breastplates provided a visual feast evoking images of God's presence . . . Evangelicals need to reclaim their Old Testament heritage. We need to unburden ourselves of those reflexes forged during the Reformation . . . that shunned the pageantry and visual media of medieval Catholicism . . .
Gary M. Burge, "Why So Many Are Rediscovering Worship In Other Traditions," Christianity Today, October 6, 1997, Vol. 41, No. 11, p. 20.
This is one reason I thank God for the liturgy. The liturgy does not target any age or cultural subgroup. It does not even target this century. (It does not imagine, as we moderns and postmoderns are tempted to do, that this is the best of all possible ages, the most significant era of history.) Instead, the liturgy draws us into worship that transcends our time and place. Its earliest forms took shape in ancient Israel, and its subsequent development occurred in a variety of cultures and subcultures—Greco-Roman, North African, German, Frankish, Anglo-Saxon, and so on.
Theologian and pastor Eugene Peterson talked about our desire for relevance in a CT interview a couple of years ago: "I don't think people care a whole lot about what kind of music you have or how you shape the service. They want a place where God is taken seriously, where they're taken seriously."
Before he became Pope, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger wrote, "The grandeur of the liturgy does not rest upon the fact that it offers an interesting entertainment, but in rendering tangible the Totally Other, whom we are not capable of summoning. He comes because He wills."
In addition, the very rhythm of the service—the liturgy of the Word followed by the liturgy of the Sacrament, the praise that prepares us for the Word, and the confessions and prayers that guide our response to the Word—is a pattern that has not so much been created by the church as discovered. It was a holy pattern that within a couple of centuries began to seem (to take a phrase from the Book of Common Prayer) "very meet, right, and our bounden duty" to practice in just this way.
But what is interesting is that this liturgical shape became the standard shape of the Western liturgy for the following centuries—which prompts wonder at how this liturgy fit the thousands of cultures the church encountered over the centuries. How in the world has it been relevant in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, the Americas, and Asia? Yet it has been the basic outline in Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, Lutheran, Presbyterian, and other communions, in many cultures and eras.
The liturgy, from beginning to end, is not about meeting our needs. The liturgy is about God. It's not even about God-as-the-fulfiller-of-our-need-for-spiritual-meaning. It's about God as he is himself: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It is not about our blessedness but his. The liturgy immediately signals that our needs are not nearly as relevant as we imagine.
Rom 14 “Weak in faith” … one day above another…
“Liturgical order”is now Rom. 12:1Giving to othersRelive others w/ $
See why they keepthe Bible out ofpeople’s hands?
The historical practice of the church!
Cf. NT: “Have this read”
Irenius: "We confound all those who in any way, whether for self-pleasing or vain glory or blindness or evil-mindedness, hold unauthorized meetings" (Irenius , “On Tradition and Sucession,” Documents of the Church, [Oxford])
Contrast it with Jesus' statement, “Where ever two or more of you are gathered in my name, there am I with you.”
Protestants killed more!