Today, we conclude this lesson on the ancient exercises we do together on Sundays. We look at the exercise that includes stilling our hearts, becoming attentive, interpreting, and discerning. This may be one of the only times you'll ever hear a minister tell you to argue with him or her.
We're looking at the exercises we've been doing together on Sundays for centuries and centuries. As anything we do for an extend period, they can become rote, and we can begin to practice them without understanding or without a vested interest. So we're thinking together about the ancient practices, the ancient spiritual exercises. Today, we think about the radicalized version of hospitality practiced in the first few centuries of the church, and how it served as political and social dissent against the norms of Roman society.
Today, we begin looking at the exercises that in aggregate, constitute the Sunday morning Christian experience. Looking at the word "liturgy," we realize that what we're doing is closer to going to a gym-for-the-soul, than it is to many of our understandings of "going to church." So have a listen. Today we talk about two exercises Christian people have been doing Sunday mornings for centuries; getting ready, and getting there (there's more to it than you would think).
Notice, I did not title this lesson; "Don't go to church. It's a waste of time." No, a better title would have been, "When you go to church, don't waste your time." (But it's not nearly as catchy, is it?) The exercises many Christians do on Sunday mornings have an ancient heritage. They wouldn't have lasted this long if they didn't have a profound power to transform us. However, many people find organized religion and Sunday services in particular, to be decidedly un-transformative. So, in this lesson, we'll look at the ancient communal practices we Christians do on Sunday mornings,