Thursday, November 20, 2014

Heavenly Liturgy

When I was young, I remember watching movies and being very confused by Catholic Church. For me Church was Sunday School, followed by an hour of singing and the preacher, dressed in an ordinary suit, preaching. Altars priests and incense all seemed odd, and cult like.

Unless you actually read the Book of Revelation. And there you find it all, the presbyters (in English we translate priests/elders), the Lamb of God, and the liturgy including incense. As we read chapter 5 today we have images of organized liturgical prayer. And the Book of Revelation tells us that the incense "is the prayers of the holy ones." We can go all the way back to the birth of Jesus and see the foreshadowing of this scene in the incense offered to the child Jesus.

Our liturgy here on earth is meant not only to recall these images from the Bible, but to bring alive for us the very real connection between our life as part of the Church on earth, and life in heaven, the life we all hope to experience fully one day. The Book of Revelation is but glimpse of the life to come, life in God's presence. As we gather around the and receive the Lamb of God, let it always be a reminder to us that this life is not our goal.