Friday, February 19, 2016


I have written in the past about how my mother would prepare for Sunday.  How when she went to bed on Saturday night, the house was clean, the Sunday clothes were ironed, the shoes were shined, the Sunday School lessons ready, and as much meal prep as possible for Sunday breakfast and lunch was completed. 

I believe that having the house and family ready for Sunday makes the day go more smoothly.  That's a good thing.  Think about the times you have gotten these things done on Saturday and think about your state of mind when you got to church on Sunday morning.  For a contrast, think about the times you did not get those things done and rushed in to the sanctuary at the last minute (or even 5-10 minutes late).  I don't know about you, but I have done the latter more than the former!  Yet I keep on trying, and some weeks are better than others.

But there is more to Sunday preparation than having the house and the kids and the clothes and the meals ready.  We might do all those things and roll into the parking lot with plenty of time to spare and still not have a good Sunday.  If our hearts are not prepared to worship God, if our minds are not focused on Him, then that hour or so of sitting in the sanctuary just might turn into nothing more than what Mr. Marvelous calls "Spectator-Sport Worship".  The music turns into a nice performance that we watch.  The liturgy is just some nice words that we say.  The sermon is a speech that we evaluate for its logic and clarity and use of $5 theological terms.  And we walk away feeling "nice" or perhaps a little smug about how much better we are than the late-comers (conveniently forgetting that last week we were even later than they were). 

I would urge you this weekend to take some time before you get too sleepy on Saturday night.  Stop.  Turn off the distractions.  Get quiet.  Be still.  Focus on God.  I find the verses from Galatians 5:22-23 to be very helpful for this.  Think about these attributes of God.  Ask Him to speak to you in the worship on Sunday.  Ask Him to prepare not only your heart, but the heart of all those He will bring into your sanctuary this week.  Ask Him to prepare the heart of your pastor.  Ask Him to give those who lead worship ~ music and otherwise ~ the hearts of true worshipers so that they may then lead us in worship.  Ask Him to keep distractions away from your church on Sunday.  Can you imagine the power of a room full of God's children worshiping Him without distraction?!  Make true worship your priority this weekend.  Not for your benefit, but for the glory and honor of our Creator and Redeemer.

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law"                   Galatians 5:22-23 ESV

God is love and the source of all love.
God is joy and the basis of all joy.
God is peace and the only way to find true peace.
God is patient and enables us to be patient.
God is kind and the origin of kindness.
God is good and the Creator of all goodness.
God is faithful and the root of all faithfulness.
God is gentle and the only One who can make us be gentle.
God is in control.  It is only in Him that we are able to control ourselves. 

May His peace fill your hearts and homes.

May your Sunday be especially and particularly blessed.


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