This past Sunday was Open House Sunday at Bethel, and what a blessing it was to greet half a dozen new families and share a wonderful fellowship meal with our church family. My pride factor was increased as Bethel’s members paid special attention to quality and friendliness. Much preparation went into the day and it was well worth it! But Sunday evening was far more of a blessing to my own heart. In fact, most Sundays are just that way.
On Sunday mornings, we rush in to tie up loose ends and make sure that all details are in order for the morning worship service. After all, if the lighting, the temperature, or the sound volume isn’t perfect, God might not be able to work in the hearts of attendees, right? I fear that sometimes when we are focused too much on having an ideal public service, we miss the absolutely awe-inspiring nature of the centerpiece of our service – God’s perfect Word. By the time we open our Bibles, we’re a bit drained from the tension of striving for perfection.
That’s why I love Sunday evening services. It seems, for some reason, that the tension is over. We’ve been relieved from the pressure to impress the visiting crowd and we tend to focus our attention more on the Word of God in study. Rather than double-checking the sound and making sure the bulletins aren’t printed upside down on the inside, we simply stroll in, take our seats, and seek the face of Jesus.
My conclusion is that we probably have a lot to learn about Sunday mornings from all of this. Perhaps it’s time to “get spiritual” and realize that we aren’t gathering for a show, we’re gathering in Jesus’ classroom, sitting at the feet of our Lord, waiting for those drippings from the altar. Our worship will be more precious when it is “simply God’s Word.”
Remember the story of Mary and Martha? Martha wasn’t wrong in serving, but she was wrong in missing Jesus in her attention to the details of preparing dinner. Every Sunday, we prepare the table for special guests, but let’s not miss the sweet fellowship time with Jesus by our attention to the details. As you approach God’s Word this weekend with your church family, seek the face of Jesus in the simplicity of God’s wonderful Word.