Worship on the reservation has a different feel to it.
First is the idea that starting on time is starting early. Our 11 worships often start around 11:15-11:20 and our 1:30 worship starts at 2 most Sundays. Rez time. This is normal around here. Funerals have the same thing happen to them. The listed time is a suggested time more than a hard time. It took me a while to get used to it.
The feel of worship is different too. First, we sing half of our songs in Lakota. And those of you that have heard me sing know that I struggle in English. But I do my best to sing with Reverend Asa. We also sing songs in English, but they are from the Presbyterian Hymnal, and I do not always know the tunes.
The other thing is attendance. We never know how many will show for the worship services. Now in Pine Ridge a large part of our congregation is the street people. The weather and other activities affect the size of worship. We have had as many as 40 and as few as 3 for a regular worship service. (Special events are different.) And the Makasan church has had as many as 30 and as few as just the Pastor. But we show up.
One of the most moving worships was a Sunday that all of my partners were out of town. I showed up to provide coffee and I figured that we would not have worship. Two gentlemen asked if we were going to worship, and I of course said yes. We went to the church, and I asked if they were okay if we sat at the tables and worshipped there. They said yes.
We proceeded to have an interactive worship service where I did not stand in front of the congregation rather, I was part of the congregation, and we did all the parts of worship and they participated. They asked questions about the Gospel, and I did my best to answer them. They helped to give the prayers of the people and offered parts of the prayers. It ended up with 8 people plus me.
It was one of the best worship experiences I ever had. It was a reminder that God loves us and loves when we worship together. The where 2 or 3 are gathered came to life that day.
I hope you worshiped the God who loves you today. I did and God reminded me that I love you too.