As beautiful as our building is, and as people may come at first just to see the building, my prayer is that they will stay long enough to discover the beauty of fellowship.
We are a liturgical and contemplative church, which is exactly the type of church Christiane and I want to pastor and be part of. Not just because we identify with these expressions of worship, but more importantly, because of YOU. Through these practices, God has been shaping you as a community over all these many years. Now, through hardships and blessings, we want to continue to see growth in the depth and number of relationships formed with one another.
As you see changes and renovations in our building, I want you to think of the changes and transformations God is wanting to do in your own hearts and minds. As we walk together, hopefully, in many years to come, I want you to think more about you as ‘the building’, the temple of the Holy Ghost. So, wherever you are, you can be reminded of the difference you can make because of God in you.
We have prepared a video for this dinner that we will watch to conclude my words to you. It illustrates what it means to be a house of prayer for all people.
You will hear an original version of the Sanctus, “HOLY HOLY HOLY – the whole earth is full of his Glory”. We say and sing these words every week just before taking communion, right? This version was prepared for this video for this dinner, by Caleb Meyer, my son, who is a music writer and producer. I hope you enjoy it.
Please, listen to The Sanctus almost as a meditative, repetitive chant, meant to bring us into a place of holy contemplation. As we celebrate the beauty of God in our building, and the beauty of God in each other, please think of Isaiah 6:
Isaiah had a vision of God himself and angels of the Lord and celestial beings saying:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke.(Holy Spirit)
His reaction was “I’m unclean! Woe to me!”
Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”
When we encounter God in all his holiness, we are changed. The Sanctus comes from these words – ”HOLY, HOLY, HOLY, Lord God of, hosts, Heaven and earth are full of thy glory: Glory be to thee, O Lord Most High. Amen.
Every week, as these words are sung or said just before the prayer of consecration, they serve as declaration of who God is and a reminder of who we are called to be.
“Be holy, because I am holy”. Holy simply means ‘set apart’. Not as much as the notion we sometimes have of being ‘set apart’ FROM others, but more like being ‘set apart’ TO others – set apart to a purpose. It’s less about starting with a behavior, and more about starting with an encounter. Like Isaiah, we are also being touched and transformed by Him. And, when that happens, we also desire to declare His glory, and go out and show his beauty TO the world.
And Isaiah heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.””
Isaiah 6:1-8 ESV
At the end of the video you will see a montage of us ringing our famous bell. You know we are well known for tolling the bell in memory and honor of others, and we will continue to do this. But the bell doesn’t just call us to remember the past, it’s also a call into the future. A call TO future worshipers. We all get to participate in calling others to worship our Lord. As you will see in the video, it goes back centuries in the Anglican tradition.
We are people who worship together, AND we are people who are sent. WE are a house of prayer AND we are FOR all people. Sent into our city to display the love of God. May this be true of each of us as we serve God at Mariners’ Church in the years to come. May we worship God in the beauty of his Holiness. May others hear the tolling of the bell, the invitation to come to the Holy One, and join us in worshiping Him.
Please enjoy this video and the rest of our program.