One of the most amazing moments in worship this afternoon was to see bishops of our church gathered around the communion table in the center of the people and to hear them invoke the power of the holy spirit.
I recite those words every week at our communion service.
I say them once a month in Sunday worship and at the nursing home.
They are deeply familiar to me.
And yet, with the arms of all of our body outstretched, the bishops prayed in their native tongues. The voices overlapped and competed with one another. Hard consonants mingled with softer vowels. It was a beautiful chorus of language and culture and background and perspective… it was humanity – reaching up towards the heavens and asking God to come down and make her presence known among us.
The beautiful cacophony of it made my heart sing and tears stream down my face.
We continued to experience this unity in the midst of our diversity when the voices of all 4700 participants in worship joined together to pray the Lord’s Prayer in their first languages. The familiar comfort and cadence of the American way of reciting the prayer was a subtle and not over powering backdrop to the many other voices… I was surprised that I could hear so many and that my own native tongue was not drowning out others.
This is the church. This is the body of Christ.