Worship/Praise - Psalm 98
When do we "get ready" for church? Is it part of a hectic Sunday morning ritual, beginning a little after sunrise? Does it include the alarm clock, a pot of coffee, waking the kids (if applicable), sipping the coffee, browsing the paper (if applicable) or reading the news online, going back to wake the kids (part 2), pouring a second cup and checking the time, stirring the kids and telling them going to church is what families do, so yes, we are going, and then beginning preparation for yourself? Does it finally include a mad dash to the car with the phrase, "I don't care, leave it, we are going to be late!"? No, I'm not watching your family or making judgements. I am merely recalling the days of when the kids were older, and that was our getting ready for church routine.
Really though, church preparation reminds me of what I've heard about winning national championships. I've seen and heard coaches say this: "Enjoy the moment, because right now you are the national champion, and tomorrow morning we will begin preparing for next season." So, in reality, preparing for worship is probably started when you leave worship that Sunday before you immerse yourself back into real life. Life will begin to chisel at the edges of what worshiping our God and Christ provided you with through the gifts of the Spirit - strength, renewal, forgiveness, mercy, hope. So, it is at that moment when we prepare our hearts for worship.
"Oh sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things! His right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him. The LORD has made known his salvation; he has revealed his righteousness in the sight of the nations. He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness to the house of Israel. All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God." (Psalm 98)
Our worship preparation, a matter of heart and mind, begins as we see God's hand in our lives, guiding us to his righteous work of our salvation. We see the sin in our lives (mind) and seek God's forgiveness and grace (heart) provided by the suffering, death, and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ. Because of these, our joyful noise of praise should be a 24/7/365 way of life. Pray for this frame of mind and heart as we come to worship Christ. Pray that we sing to the LORD a new song for all the marvelous things he has done!
Hope Men's Ministry