At each of the previous gatherings that I have attended, the WCGIP has followed a similar protocol with the leaders and elders of those lands (Hawaii, Sweden and Israel). This year I not only had the opportunity to observe and be welcomed through this process, but I also had the privilege to participate and give one of the speeches to the Maori king and his people.
This event did not include a time of worship and it all took place even before we had registered for the conference and had properly greeted each other. But the more I experience and reflect on this type of protocol, the more I understand how this is a part and even some of the foundation of our worship.
This protocol is a very clear reminder to me of who I am in these foreign lands. A guest. And having that mentality with the people of the lands where I have come to worship, is a wonderful reminder of who I am before our creator. His creation.
(This article was first published by the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship)