Why "Mount Horeb"? This may sound like a funny name for a congregation, especially since it's not the name of the town we're in! In Scripture, Horeb is the place where people meet God. Moses meets God in the burning bush at Horeb, water comes from the rock at Horeb, and Mt. Horeb the place where the Israelites are given the Ten Commandments. Our congregation in Augusta County is also a place where people - young and old - meet God. God comes to meet our community of faith in Jesus Christ and by his Spirit to claim us as his own and call us as his witnesses in this place of the world.
Why do you seem to pay special attention to the pulpit, table and font? Signs and symbols serve us all the time in life. We use street signs to know where we are and where we’re supposed to go. A wedding ring may serve to symbolize unending love and commitment. A warning sign tells us to keep away for our safety. So too, in worship, we come and gather around liturgical “furniture” to remind us what is really going on.
We gather around the font and water, remembering that for Christians, here, water is thicker than blood. For it is in our baptism, by the Holy Spirit, that we are united to Christ and adopted into the family of God.
We gather around the Bible and pulpit, remembering that Jesus Christ is the living Word of God who has spoken and who continues to speak to us, especially through the written word of Scripture.
We gather around the table to taste and see again and again that our God is not far off but is present with us in Christ by the Spirit, spreading a table before us and inviting us to come and eat the bread of life and drink the cup of salvation. The communion table is an invitation to come and not only remember Christ's work, but to be nourished in faith by Christ himself, through the Spirit, and to do so knowing that one day we will feast together with him in the glory of the new creation.
We gather for worship around each of these signs to be reminded of God’s grace and God’s presence with us.
Why do we often pour water or stand by the font when we’re reminded of God's grace? After confessing our brokenness and sin, we remember our baptism as it is the sign that everything old in us has been washed away because of Christ and we have been raised to new life. The water is the symbol of that washing and the symbol of the living water which Christ offers us that we may thirst no more.
Why do the colors in the sanctuary change sometimes? The colors in the sanctuary change to reflect the current season of the church (or, Christian) year. For Christians, the year begins with the season of Advent (four weeks before Christmas day) and ends with Christ the King Sunday, in November. Between Advent and Christ the King, we celebrate Christmastide, Epiphany, Lent, Holy Week, Eastertide, and the Season After Pentecost (or, Ordinary Time). The seasons help to reorder our lives, letting them sync to God's story instead of our own.