Just a few minutes ago, the Columbia Seminary Gospel choir (directed by Marcus Yates) led chapel. Under his leadership and the accompaniment of Professor Tribble on the piano, the choir invited us into a lively, dynamic, grace-filled, and abundant conversational journey as a community. I cannot thank them enough for the liberating worship that they led today. We opened the worship by insisting that the Holy Spirit was welcome in this place! What truth and grace there is when we open ourselves to Holy Spirit and her guidance!
A few days ago, I posted a sermon entitled “Breaking the Fourth Wall.” http://our1wildandpreciouslife.blogspot.com/2012/11/breaking-fourth-wall.html Of late I have been fascinated by the theatrical concept of “breaking the fourth wall” in which the “audience” is directly addressed and invited into the story in a very tangible way. This metaphor is challenging me to rethink the way I worship. How often do we have “fourth walls” in worship in which the congregation is more of an “audience” rather than the living body of Christ? How often is worship simply a play in which those leading (I am a member of this group more often that not!) “do the action” while the congregation simply observes from “behind the fourth wall?”
Today, the CTS Gospel Choir gave us a brilliant example of what it means to break the fourth wall in worship. As a congregant sitting in the pew, I was invited by these “wall-breakers” to join the chorus of witnesses who proclaim God’s grace! The fourth wall was shattered and no longer was worship a simple producer/consumer relationship; the congregation was invited to contribute to the praise and proclamation of the word and the line between worship leader and congregant was blurred.
Let us give thanks for our Sisters and Brothers in Christ who proclaim God’s word in a way that invites all to join in the story which both begins and ends with God’s faithful and good Word! Let us continue the conversation and, as such, I welcome your thoughts on how we might continue to break the fourth wall in the worship that we are called to do!