Public Worship Leads to Public Action

When we speak about public worship, especially in the Christian tradition, we often use the term liturgy. Liturgy derives from the Greek word leitourgia which originally meant any public act. Christians in particular came to refer to religious worship, which has always been a public action, as liturgy: the coming together of the Christian community to praise and hymn God; to proclaim God’s Word; to offer petitions for the community and for the world; and, for many Christians, to participate in the Eucharist. But what then? Why is public worship important? What happens after our times of public worship? What is the liturgy after the liturgy?

The Diakonia Project Institute offers an answer to these questions. The public action that people of faith take, including the act of serving others, which the term diakonia embodies, is informed and directed by the worship of God. Public worship is transformed into the service we offer to others, especially those most in need. People of deep faith were inspired by that faith to launch these charitable initiatives, not to serve their faith community per se, but for the life of the world.

The service given by faith-based, charitable initiatives, such as SASMAD, Ve’ahavta, and Christian Horizons, cannot be separated from the faith that is strengthened in worship. Religious freedom affirms the importance of both public worship and how it is connected to the living out of our most deeply held beliefs through public action. To diminish religious freedom merely to the freedom for some of us to go into a certain building on a certain day and engage in ritual worship is to fail to understand this connection.

We hold up the faith-based, charitable initiatives of the Diakonia Project as examples of faith lived out for others, of worship in action, and of love.

Topics: Religion, Faith