Are you aware that we can come to church and still miss worship? Yes many come and are present physically but do not affirm God’s goodness, do not recall to Him the numerous specific things He did for them or with and through them. They do not affirm Him as the Almighty, even though our Liturgy, parts of the service and hymns provide opportunities for us to do so.
Christian friends, good preparation can make the difference. It helps to make worship, the giving of worth, value and honour to God a very rich and fulfilling time of fellowship. With such preparation we are able to move from mere attendance at church to get a good feeling to a time of truly and joyfully expressing gratitude to someone awesome.
When the Israelites ascended Mount Zion on the way to worship, they did not go lightly. They knew they were on their way to a royal gathering and they gave great care to this event. They spent time in pre-Sabbath preparations. Are we aware that when we attend our Eucharist we are at a royal gathering; a sacred destination? Do we prepare for it?
In Psalm 15 David talks about going to ‘your Sanctuary’ and your ‘holy hill’ and he proceed to cite what we must do to avoid barging on the royal Lord:
“Walk straight, act right, tell the truth. Don’t hurt your friend, don’t blame your neighbor; despise the despic- able. Keep your word even when it costs you, make an honest living, never take a bribe” [MSG Ps 15:2-5]
How can we do these things? The point is no one may simply barge in on the royal Lord. Preparation of the heart is required; submission of self to the God who is worthy and Almighty. This process should begin before we leave our homes and is heightened when we engage in our Liturgy, beginning from the Opening Sentences through the Collect of Purity ending at the Peace.
I encourage us all to give great care to gathering at the Eucharist so that we may experience that rich and fulfilling time of fellowship with God.
Reverend. Yvette Mitchell Bagnall