Wednesday, May 26, 2010

return to ancient days...

The last three weeks, we have engaged in ancient/modern worship practices. It was actually pretty interesting.
Synopsis: Serious Christians talk often about following Jesus the way that the Early Church did. We seem to think that the earliest followers of Jesus were more pure, more centered, more authentic in their understanding of Jesus, and living out His plan for life. But most Christians and skeptics have only a slight understanding of what actually took place in the Early Church. There is a mountain of historical evidence—even beyond the few references in the Bible to early Christian life—that can tell us what actually happened, how early followers of Jesus lived, and how they understood what life in Jesus was all about. What could we learn about our modern life with Jesus if we looked into these ancient ways? What might we expose about the shallow and easy life of today if we looked through the eyes of these bold Christians? Join us for an intense and provocative comparison of our ways and their ways as we discover the real truth about following Jesus!

For the stage design we tried to recreate the feel of ancient catacombs, like where the early church would have met in secret.

We sang the "Phos Hilaron" (Hail Gladdening Light) which is the earliest known Christian hymn recorded outside of the Bible that is still being used today.

Creative readings from some of the earliest surviving texts like the "The Way of Life" section from the Didache.

The second week we celebrated Communion per Hippolytus (circa 200 AD) – which is a 3-cup communion (wine, milk/honey, water) These cups represent Christ's death and resurrection, the promised land and baptism.
It was actually pretty funny. We had set up three different stations in the auditorium and instructed people to walk around the auditorium and pick up each element, partake and move on. Within a few minutes there was a traffic jam! LOL. People had just stopped were they were. But, it was kind of cool. They were chatting quietly amongst each other or worshiping. We did manage to get the flow going again. All in all, the element itself took a lot longer than planned, but no one seemed to be upset. From the comments afterwards people young and old really enjoyed the experience.

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