Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Silent Preparation

Posted by Hello

"In the period before the service we commend the keeping of silence. In the midst of our busy lives we have all too little time for silence. 'It is seldom.' writes one Christian, 'that God finds a soul quiet enough to speak to.' The silence before the service can be used as a time for quiet preparation. Read thoughtfully the words of the opening hymn, so that when you join in the singing of it, it may mean more to you. Think of the holiness and power of God into whose presence we should only with humility and reverence. 'Be still, and know that I am God.'"

All too often we have entered into worship lightly. We glibly slide into our favorite pew and chat about Sunday School with our family members. A friend comes over and asks how we are or whether or not we caught such and such on TV. And so it goes. We call it fellowshiping, but, in reality, it is our disrespect for the God of the universe whom we claim to have come to worship. Sometimes we attempt to properly prepare for worship, but, more often than not, our minds wander to the events of the week, things we forgot to do, and people we need to call. We have not entered a Sabbath rest. We have not prepared as we ought.

Sabbath preparation does not begin on Sunday morning or even Saturday evening. Traditional Sabbath begins on Saturday evening just as the Jewish day goes from evening to evening rather than morning to morning - meaning we need to have all preparations made beforehand. Our clothes and tithe should be ready before we retire for bed at a reasonable hour. We should allow enough time on Sunday morning for getting our hearts ready rather than just our bodies (preaching to self here) lest we be "whitened sepulchers." The Sabbath and the worship therein is a joyous occasion and a great gift from God that we should embrace. To not prepare for worship at home and in the sanctuary is to turn one's nose up at the gift of God. This weekend, take time to prepare for worship and receive what God has for you. If we do not quiet our hearts, how can we hear Him?

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