“Then the Lord appeared to Abram, and said, “To your offspring[c]I will give this land.” So he built there an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him. 8 From there he moved on to the hill country on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; and there he built an altar to the Lord and invoked the name of the Lord. 9 And Abram journeyed on by stages toward the Negeb.” – Genesis 12:7-9
This week, Trinity launches a new, mid-week worship service. On Wednesday evenings, our community will gather at 6pm in the Sanctuary for a worship service with a slightly different flavor: The service will be shorter, probably just 35-45 minutes long and the setting will be a bit more low-key and intimate. Every week, we’ll celebrate Holy Communion.
In the time of Abraham and Sarah, whenever significant moments would happen in Abraham’s life, he would build an altar. Usually just a pile of stones built up on the ground. Once built, Abraham would worship God there, giving thanks and praise for whatever God had done. Then, Abraham would move on, leaving behind the altar as a marker. When other travelers would walk past this place, they would know that here, God had been up to something.
Somewhere in our history, our culture shifted so that worship became an event that happened almost exclusively on Sunday mornings (or in some cases, like Trinity, Saturday nights.) Worship became a marker of the Sabbath, and the community would gather then to worship together.
But in the last couple of decades, our world and culture have continued to shift, and other events: sports, trips to the cabin, work and more, began to encroach on what had been time dedicated to worship.
While we grieve this shift, we remember that it also gives us an opportunity to think differently about worship. I believe it calls us to think about worship more like Abraham did, an opportunity to give thanks and praise, “along the way.”
Our new Wednesday evening worship will give us the opportunity to worship “along the way.” Like an altar built in the middle of our week, it will be a marker to remind us that “God is up to something here,” at Trinity and in our daily lives.
This worship service is for everyone and anyone. But in particular, we think of it as a great opportunity for those whose schedules don’t allow them to worship on Saturday night or Sunday morning; for those who need a mid-week opportunity of Word and Sacrament; for young people in confirmation and their families (yes, you can get a worship note on Wednesday evenings too!); and for anyone who is in the building on Wednesday nights for dinner, a choir rehearsal, youth group or whatever.
The theme of the worship will reflect the theme from the previous Sunday, and the sermon will be a slightly shorter version of that sermon as well.
Throughout history, as the world has changed, the church has adapted. The addition of our Wednesday evening worship is another sign of how we adapt. And hopefully it provides a great opportunity for the people of Trinity to gather around the altar, to hear the Word and receive the Sacrament, and to give thanks for what God is up to in their lives!
See you in worship!