Cathedrals. Churches. Convents. Caves. Cars. Cafes. Chapels, Castles. Condos. Cabins. Cruise Ship. Canyons. And Creation. All of them. Uniquely different. But the same. Places of worship—while my wife Linda and I were on our recent four-month sabbatical.
Our four “R” goals during the sabbatical included recharging and reconnecting. Recharging our spiritual batteries was one intended purpose. Reconnecting with God in a more intimate way was another. Both were met in diverse and interesting settings.
Our spirits soared and connected with God while reverberating with the majestically-played pipe organ in the highest-spired Cathedral of the world in Ulm, Germany. Our hearts were stirred in the castle-attic-renovated-to-a-chapel as Gregorian hymns were sung in Swiss German at the Christustrager Brotherhood in Ralligen, Switzerland. Our emotions swelled into tears as just the two of us read the Bible, sang and shared bread and wine together in the Chapelle des chevres (Chapel of the Goats), a cave where our 16th century persecuted Anabaptist forefathers held secret worship services in the Jura Mountains (on the Swiss-French border).
So many ways. So many places. Too many to describe here. Catholic, Protestant and more. We recharged and reconnected through worship.
Worship is not limited to a particular day, place, time, style, religion or denomination. Connecting with God is for anyone, anywhere. We experienced that truth in refreshing new ways over the past four months and for that we are incredibly grateful.
However, there was something very special about coming home to Cape Christian for worship on the final day of our sabbatical. It wasn’t just the fact that we birthed the church nearly 28 years ago. It was even more than seeing young leaders we have invested in leading really well. It was the life-giving experience of reconnecting with long-time friends. It was the realization that we were worshipping with those whom we have personally witnessed the “before” and “after” of God-transformed lives. And, it was the reconnection, after being away for 19 weekends—with God and His family whom we have journeyed with through the mountains and valleys of life. It was good. Very good!
Yes, one can worship anywhere. Anytime. Alone. With strangers. In an unlearned language. But I’m convinced—more than ever—everyone needs a community of believers to connect to and worship with. As imperfect as people and congregations are. As disappointing as the failures and floundering of God’s people becomes at times. Recharging and reconnecting in worship together with those who are mutually committed to honor, follow and serve a living Lord brings a joy unlike all of the other ways and places of worship. It’s good to be home. Very good!
If you missed earlier links to the photojournal of our sabbatical, click below:
North American Road Trip PhotoJournal
Lastest Releases Photos