“The Holy Spirit call us together as the people of God.” (ELW, 92)
The very first action of every worship is that the Holy Spirit draws people together. God is the initial actor in our worship.
We do not just go to church. We do not invite ourselves to worship. We do not create a worship experience. We do not drive to the church. We do not walk in the door. We do not search for our favorite pew and sit down.
God gathers us all into a worshiping Christian community. The Holy Spirit invites and calls all people together for worship and fellowship. “God initiates our gathering; we respond with our presence in local assembly. Week after week, God calls us to come together; to hear God’s word and receive Christ’s meal; to be sent out again. This cycle contains God’s continuing invitation to participate again and again in the life-giving, faith-developing event.” (ELW: Sunday Assembly, 103) God brings you together to hear God’s word, receive a meal full of grace, and be sent into the world to love all people we meet. God brings you into the body of Christ to give you life and well-being.
How do we respond to this calling and invitation from God? What is our role in gathering together? If it is the Holy Spirit that draws us together, what is left for us to do? Perhaps our role is to consider how we try to stop God’s gathering of people and change. Perhaps God calls us to open the closed doors for people we do not usually let in. Perhaps God is equipping us with the gift of welcome and hospitality for strangers and outcasts.
As God continues to create our community and worship space, we are called to be stewards of this creation. As God creates our life together, we also tend to this siblinghood that we have in Christ. Love for all people is the act of stewardship in the ministry of welcome and hospitality. God loves all of us, no matter who we are. We are invited into the love of Christ, to be loved by all and to love all. We are a created community by the Father, siblings together in the Body of Christ, and gathered into one by the Holy Spirit.
“For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.” (Matthew 18:20)
Pastor Tyler Hoey, November 2021