Every Tuesday night, I have the privilege of being the educational assistant for the Pilgrimage into Faithfulness (PIF) class at the seminary I attend. This class is required of all first year students and touches on key issues of faith as they are assimilating into the life of a seminarian. The class is structured a bit differently than normal classrooms: there is a lecture, common dinner, small groups, and then worship at the end of the evening.
While the class and professors are in their small groups, my job is to make sure the classroom that we have our lecture in is transformed into a worship space. Even with all of the wonderful lectures and meals that we have together as a large group … I must admit that this …. this transformation … is my favorite part of my night.
Now, one might think that I’m just super introverted and this is my time alone …. but no. It’s really not that.
At 7:00 each Tuesday evening, I enter the common room after dinner, turn my Ipod to a inspiring Pandora station, and get to work. As I begin to move around the tables and chairs that were — just minutes ago — filled with students eager for knowledge and academic growth … I think about how flexible and intertwined our world is. This space that was meant for knowledge and learning at this higher education institution is the same space that we occupy for worship.
The call to learn becomes the call to worship.
The note-taking becomes internal prayer and reflection.
The questions we ask professors in order to gain knowledge and clarify become an invitation to question our faith and gain clarity from our creator.
Our discussion of texts become our baptismal promise.
Our meal becomes our holy communion.
Of course, in this space, I am only moving around
ordinary tables and chairs — objects of little importance in the grand scheme of things. The transformation comes when we all agree to gather together for a common purpose. The transformation comes when the spirit leads.
The ordinary into extraordinary.
Thanks be to God.