Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Views of Worship

In the last few days, we have observed much worship.

The Buddhists we encountered were deeply reverential as they acted out their faith at the pagodas and sometimes in the streets. They used many forms of worship -- meditating on their knees, washing statues, presenting food and flowers as offerings and giving gifts of food and money to the monks. They insist on appropriate decorum and modest dress in the pagodas. You must remove your shoes and socks as a sign of respect, to help keep the place clean and damage free and because traditonally Buddhists are not to be taught wearing shoes. Honoring Buddha seems the center of what they do.

(The pagodas were breathtaking. The architecture, art work, and history are all very impressive.  See Jordan's photo blog for more on that.)

In the midst of Buddhists at Shwe Dagon, I was surprised to see two Muslims in front of a shrine that faced East, praying in their traditional fashion. It was interesting to think that they were praying to one god, while kneeling in front of another. It's the heart that counts I guess. The Buddhists did not seem to notice this happening so perhaps it is a frequent occurence. Devout Muslims will pray at the appointed times regardless of the setting. They are constant.

Tonight 10,000 Christians gathered for a concert blended with worship. There was excitement and joy. People were glad to be together to sing about Christ and to honor the Judsons. My participation was limited by Jordan's brief bout with traveler's stomach. Also, a few songs were in English but most of the  program was in Burmese or maybe Karen. Their were Christmas songs like "Feliz Navidad" and "Mary's Boy Child" included and much of the music was rock style. Our companion, Mei Oo, would summarize the preaching. "He's telling us to think and follow God's plan for our life." " He's talking about Jesus as the Shepherd." But, with all that, it was amazing to be a part of it.  Real worship is exciting.

Let us learn to approach Christ in awe and reverence. Let us learn to be constant in faith and prayer. May the excitement be palpable even when it is just two or three gathered in Jesus' name.

God bless your day!

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