When you go to a party or share dinner with a friend, you go with the expectation that you will meet with the host and spend some time with them. Perhaps there may be a group of friends or neighbors that will be present also, people that share some connection with the host.
What do you expect when you come to church on Sunday morning for worship? Sure, we can expect to find our church friends, the pastor (hopefully!), and others who regularly attend. But do we go to worship with the expectation that we will meet with God? If this is God’s house, and God is the host, do you think it is likely that you will be meeting with God?
I am convinced that when we come to church to worship, we usually end up finding what we go expecting to find. If we expect to be bored, annoyed, thrilled, or impressed, there will be plenty of things that take place in any worship service that will meet our expectations. If you and I come to the worship service with the hope of hearing some word from the Lord, some reminder of the love offered to us from above, and the peace that passes all understanding, then we won’t leave the worship space unsatisfied.
Even if the preacher goes on too long, if the choir sounds a bit off, if there are squiggly children that are distracting, or if the temperature is uncomfortable, God is still there to be found. Through the signing of hymns and praying together, through the music offered and the message that is spoken through the passing of the peace and the silence that is shared with others, worship can connect us with God and with one another. Worship opens our spirit and imagination to the movement of God’s grace. Worship provides us strength for the living of our days and encourages our witness.
One of the things that became so very clear to me through the pandemic is that there is great value in coming together and being with one another as the body of Christ.
Grace and peace,