My love for things like choral music and liturgy have taken me away from Evangelical church circles for quite some time now. In highschool I attended a Pentecostal youth group which I absolutely loved. During the same time period, I worked at a summer camp that was rather contemporary in its style of worship.
Then I began attending a private Christian university which provided me with all the Christian community and scriptural focus I needed. After university I spent some time attending Reformed and Anglican services.
And then yesterday (which was Sunday, for future readers) I attended a local Meeting House. They sang the contemporary worship and conducted the service in the contemporary style. And as much as I love the form and the artistry of liturgy and choral music and hymns, I felt moved by something very familiar that I hadn’t experienced in a long time. These people were passionate.
Now, don’t understand me as saying mainline churches and liturgical congregations can’t be passionate (although there may be a curious trend.) The members of my university choir took their faith seriously and sang with conviction. An actor like myself knows well that the same script played over and over doesn’t have to become a meaningless and dispassionate repetition, but the personal passion and conviction of the Christian faith does seem to escape some older styles of churches.
And, of course, if you truly understand who Christ is and what he did, how can you not be passionate?
For as long as I was in the worship portion of the Meeting House service, I felt a sense of being at home that I hadn’t felt in a while. I remembered the feeling of my days in youth group and summer camp. And this is only one instance in a series of experiences in my current life that I could describe as a yearning for “home.” I have dreams about the summer camp and my home town. I have dreams about my experiences in university. And I ask myself “Why it is that God would lead me to this place in my life where I always feel disconnected from one thing or another?”
“Why am I in this time in my life where I either feel disconnected from the style of worship I love, or the passion and conviction of worship? Why have I not settled into a career? When will I get to own my own home? When will I get to start a family? What is God’s involvement in all this?”
I don’t have any definitive answers, but I do know one thing I can take away from this and that is a reminder that our home is not on this present earth but with God. Home is not a particular style of worship, a feeling of passion, a career, a building, or even any particular relationships – as vitally important as those may be. Home is wherever we are with our Creator who created forms of art, feelings, vocations, places, and people. It’s when we forget this that we become truly estranged, as momentarily at home as we may feel.
When we remember the times in the past that we felt at home, find pieces of that feeling along our path, and plan for our futures on this earth, we should remind ourselves that all good things come from God and that we will find everything we’re looking for when we’re with him.