In my reading life, I have come across two perspectives of terms that have opened my eyes and simplified my own perspective on church. The first, is the stem of the word religion – re-ligio – literally defined as, “rebinding”. The second, is liturgy when defined as a dialogue with God. Each of these perspectives invites me to step back and consider, from my most naïve self, what it means to participate in religion and liturgy – church.
It is fascinating to me to consider religion as a source of potential rebinding. Rebinding human and divine perhaps. It seriously shifts the experience of participating in religion to hold it in this light. Our many divided experiences and realities – the ones that leave us broken – are mended as we find and enter a unitive reality – human and divine. I wonder what it would be like to engage in religion fully from this perspective. How enlightening, how generative, how hopeful it would be.
And envisioning liturgy as a dialogue with God truly expands my appreciation for what has been and truly emancipates my understanding of what is. Suddenly, all things from my daily prayer life, to my contemplative groups, to the myriad sacred moments in a day are lush with life and a living spirit. This must be lived from the heart for it is a kind of knowing that surpasses knowledge. And one that informs and enhances my view of others.
So, how do I engage religion, as it exists around me with this renewed appreciation? If I can see this, can I also share this? Might I live this? Over and over again, I am struck by how simple things are and yet…