In the spring of 2006, a crew of 400 volunteers converted the inside of a rented F-18 aircraft hanger into a working camera. The shutter was the size of a pinhole. The film was a 3,375-square-foot-emulsion-coated canvas that covered the entire back wall. The photo consisted of everything that could be seen outside the front door of the hanger. Everything. Once exposed, the film was developed in an Olympic-sized-swimming-pool liner. The net result was a landscape photograph that was three stories high and eleven stories wide. The unprecedented achievement was celebrated by holding a reception for the entire volunteer crew in the camera!
I sometimes think about that camera when I'm worshiping in church. To begin to understand the depths and riches and wonders of our God, to capture a sense of Him, to reflect and represent Him, takes something larger than me or you. It takes community. It takes people with different experiences. It takes people with different tastes. It even takes people I might not normally hang out with. People who are more staid and traditional than I am. People who are more audacious and expressive. Presbyterians and Pentecostals. Methodists and Mennonites. Congregationalists and Catholics. To begin to reflect and represent the depths and riches and wonders of God takes a worshiping community. It even takes sermons I would rather not hear, and music that rubs me the wrong way, and liturgies that do not line up with my immediate preferences.
Or maybe I'll just stay home and fiddle with my iPhone camera.