Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
This Sunday morning we will gather together in the Sanctuary. It will be a time when each of us will participate in sharing in the Lord’s Supper… indeed, in all that we say, and sing, and think, and do, we will be seeking to do as an active, and deliberate act of WORSHIP.
Though that may sound like an unnecessary reiteration of the obvious, I sense in the deepest parts of my heart and soul, that it is not. Having had the unique privilege during the past few weeks of sharing in several different gatherings, in very varied contexts… all of which were under the banner of Christian worship… I believe that, regardless of the genre, in each case, there was a great need for all involved to better prepare ourselves to…“do this in remembrance of Jesus” … to worship.
Because this really is one of the primary battle grounds of Spiritual Warfare, the focus can all too easily become our traditions, ourselves, others, our pasts, or sometimes, something so totally unrelated to why we have gathered that, even we ourselves, are amazed at how easily our beginning thoughts of worship have gone fuzzy.
So, how do we prepare to win the battle… to truly be a blessing? Prayer may well be the single most important weapon that the Lord has given us to purposefully ease ourselves into His presence. Perhaps that is why prayer was such an integral part of all that characterized the early church’s life of worship and communion with God… the very first word of any Christian’s prayer is an acknowledgement that there is God, and we are placing ourselves purposefully in His midst… that really is an important first step to worship.
Also remember, that because worship always stands against the powers of darkness, it will be an ongoing battle just to keep ourselves from drifting spiritually out of the sanctuary even while our bodies still give every physical indication that we are still worshipping… never forget how often you have gone AWOL in the past while it still appeared that you were at your post deep in worship.
Once again, the strategy for victory is prayer… thankful, awe-filled, reverential, prayer. At the very first thought of wandering, bring yourself roaring back into Jesus’ presence with an immediate proclamation of thanksgiving. It not only slides our soul back into the sanctuary, but brings us back before Him in the most appropriate spiritual posture… on our knees. Because the Savior directly called us to…“do this in remembrance of Me” sharing together in the Lord’s Supper this Sunday is the perfect opportunity to truly worship our Lord as never before.
Start before you head to bed on Saturday evening by reading one of the biblical accounts of the Last Supper from any of the four Gospels or from 1 Corinthians 11, easing yourself under the covers with contemplative thoughts of John 3:16. Leave a little reminder on the bathroom mirror, or on the coffee pot, to stimulate thankful thoughts of that same verse first thing in the morning, directing your mind and spirit back to the sacrificial love that God has so vividly displayed through Jesus’ willingness to give His life that you might have life… and that, eternally.
As you get in the car to go to church, remember to be praying for Giorgio as he humbly strives to musically mold the environ of our gathering into one that will easily encourage the melding of our hearts with the promised presence of God, praying also that the Lord will so direct my words, thoughts, and actions that they might truly pour forth the truth of Christ, and that the powers of darkness would be held back from our lives by the overwhelming light of our humble, thankful, anticipatory prayers eagerly acknowledging God’s filling of the sanctuary with His glory, just as surely as was recorded by Isaiah back in the sixth chapter of his prophetic writing.
With such purposeful preparation, and avid anticipation, fueled by the unceasing prayerful praises flowing forth from each of us… the battle of Spiritual Warfare that has so often been lost to inattentiveness, will be joyously celebrated in the victory of thankful certainty that everything we are is being lived out in thankful obedience as we worshipfully…
“do this in remembrance of Jesus”