On Sunday we celebrated the installation of new lighting in our sanctuary. The lighting is characterized by two things: it is potentially much brighter than the existing lighting and, more importantly, it points out the simplicity of the worship space for Presbyterians. John Calvin, the progenitor of the Presbyterian-Reformed movement in Switzerland taught that when we worship God we as a congregation are the performers/actors, playing out our acts of worship for an audience of One. We do not have stained-glass windows, fancy furniture, pictures, or other decorative materials. The cross, the pulpit, the baptismal font and the communion table are the prominent foci. We don’t even have a choir loft. Calvin said that the choir should be either at the back of the sanctuary or within the sanctuary. Our choir members sit in their pews and comes up front to sing.
There you have it: in Reformed worship the pastor is not the focus nor is the choir a body of entertainment. We come into the sanctuary not for ourselves but for God. We just bask in the light of God. I hope you will join us sometime. You will be surprised – I sure!