Thank you for giving me the opportunity to live with those poor people, to eat with them, to sing with children, to listen to their story, their struggle, and pain. Also to experience their love and hospitality. But at the same time, it makes me shameful and guilty. I used to compose prayers for the poor, for those who are in suffering, for justice and peace prevailing in this world. I have taught lots of hymns about social concerns and human rights, but I have never stepped into their lives. I have always looked at these people and their oppressed situation from a distance
I once heard, but now I have seen,
I once read, but now I have experienced.
I once was senseless, but now I have sensed their grief and despair. I once looked at them from a distance, but now I am living with them, and holding them in my heart.
It makes me think more about what Schmemann said: “the liturgy is for the life of the world.” Liturgy is work for the benefit of the people. We go to church not only to carry out our individual (personal) devotion but to realize our identity as the people of God, the chosen race, the Body of the Christ, to fulfill our role as priests. What we have done in liturgy or worship is not just for the people in the wall (within the church), but also for the sake of the world, and we should bring the needs of the world to God, by praying for them.
Furthermore, in the act of worship, through music, drama, preaching, prayer, poetry, and visual arts, the Triune God reveals Himself to us, and His revelation invites His people’s response. In other words, we encounter God in worship we listen to His teaching in the Word; we participate in his risen life in the communion; and at the end of worship, we are sent by God into the world rather than simply being dismissed. We are sent to bring His love, peace, justice, and hope to the world.
Therefore liturgy is not about talking, but it is about doing.