20 June 2007

Where two or three are gathered...

Last night we had an elders' meeting at church. In our system, the elders are the actual leaders of the church. Technically, I'm just an ordained elder. I like elders' meetings. These are the spiritual leaders of the church and most of these men and women take that duty very seriously. They are mostly very wise, deliberate, and discerning.
At the end of every elders' meeting, I lead a prayer as we hold hands and then we all say the Lord's Prayer together. Because there are only 10 of us, and it's rare that all of us are actually there at the same time, we fit nicely around one of the round tables in our fellowship hall.
I have found that one of my favorite things about this time is listening for each individual voice as we are praying together. I hear Larry's strong bass and Kathy's mellow alto and Carl's gravely tenor. I hear Tim strong, but not overpowering and Edythe's slightly rushing and Alice and Sharon, quiet and low.
There is something to be said for common, memorized prayer. As a restoration movement who was founded on the idea of returning to the New Testament description of the church, this is our sole common prayer. But I understand why other sects have found such power in shared, memorized prayer. There is something about all of God's people speaking as one voice the words of the faith from their hearts that reminds me of the reason we are all Church together.
"For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am in the midst of them..." Mt. 18:20