It was my first Sunday in the U.S.. Things once so familiar now caught me off guard. I felt awkward and unchurched as I fumbled over which hymnal to use and where to find the responsive readings. My children did not know the Apostle’s creed and were unfamiliar with reciting the Lord’s prayer in church. But as different as each element of the worship service was I felt at home. My soul drank deeply of these creeds, congregational readings and English songs. I had missed them. What else had I missed? Seeing poinsettias around the altar, gazing at a large cross in the sanctuary, holding a bulletin in my hand, hearing organ music, getting dressed up for a MORNING service, singing Christmas hymns, (or any hymns), smiling at a children’s sermon and understanding everything being said.
But I miss quite a bit from the worship services in Brazil, too. I love the energy I feel as I sing with my Brazilian brothers and sisters. I love well-attended evening services. I enjoy the freedom the preacher has to go as long as he wants. And delight in the sense of fellowship and affection as hugs are freely passed around.
I feel spoiled. I get to engage in so many different styles of worship which vary from church to church and culture to culture, and it blesses me. All this, of course, is getting me ready for the main thing when I see Jesus one day. All of this is just warm-ups.