"Good Morning! Welcome to Mason United Methodist Church. My name is Vicki Dudash. I am the Director of Contemporary Worship. Along with the Praise Team and the Praise Choir, we'd like to invite you to stand and join us as we worship God together this day!"
If you were in the Multi- Ministry Room at 10 am yesterday morning you received that greeting as the contemporary service began. Likewise, there was a time of welcome at the beginning of the traditional service.
Today a thought occurred to me. I imagined what it would be like if the apostle Paul provided the greeting as we began worship. He would probably say something along the lines of:
"Greetings people of Mason United Methodist Church. My name is Paul and I am a servant of Christ. Along with the other disciples who are with me this morning, we pray for you and are hopeful you will join together as we share the love of Jesus."
Can you imagine being invited and greeted by Paul, a disciple of Christ, to worship Jesus along with other disciples of Christ? That would really be something!
Although my name isn't "Paul" each Sunday morning you are being invited by a disciple of Christ (me or Pastor Dale, Liturgists) to worship Jesus along with other disciples of Christ (Praise Team and Praise Choir, Chancel Choir) with even more disciples of Christ (all of you). That really is something!
A commentary I read began with the question, "What's in a greeting?" The article mentions that "greetings are fairly short, but even though short and often conventional, there are important bits of information that filter through."
So, you might ask, what are the important bits of information that filter through in the greeting during the contemporary service and similarly in the traditional service at MUMC? Three very important things:
When I say, "Good Morning! Welcome to Mason United Methodist Church."
I pray you know:
1. You are always welcome at Mason United Methodist Church.
When I say, "Along with the Praise Team and Praise Choir, we'd like to invite you to stand"
I pray you hear:
2. We are one body standing together in a holy place.
When I say, "Join us as we worship God together this day!"
I pray you respond:
3. We WILL and DO worship God together.
Lastly, when we come to the time in the service where we are asked to greet each other or pass the peace, remember as you shake the hand of another person and greet them, you are conveying to the person that: 1) they are welcome at MUMC; 2) you are standing together in a holy place; and 3) we are all worshipping our mighty God as one body of Christ!
May we always remember the importance of a simple greeting -- How it is given and how it is received.
And all God's people said, AMEN!