Emmanuel! (30)

Jesus whom we worship was born into a specific culture of the world. In the mystery of the incarnation are the model and the mandate for the contextualization of Christian worship. God can be and is encountered in the local cultures of our world. A given culture’s values and patterns, insofar as they are consonant with the values of the Gospel, can be used to express the meaning and purpose of Christian worship. Contextualization is a necessary task for the Church’s mission in the world, so that the Gospel can be ever more deeply rooted in diverse local cultures.

—Constance Cherry, The Worship Architect, A Blueprint for Designing Culturally Relevant and Biblically Faithful Services, 293

Homegrown Worship

When missionaries came to our lands they brought not only the seed of the Gospel, but their own plant of Christianity, flower pot included!  So, what we have to do is to break the flower pot, take out the seed of the Gospel, sow it in our own cultural soil, and let our own version of Christianity grow.

—D.T. Niles (1908-1970), from Sri Lanka