October Devotion

Worship

As followers of Christ, we are not intended to make that journey alone. We are called to gather for the purpose of encouraging each other and to share the love of God with His children.

24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
Hebrews 10:24-25 (ESV)

This is something I have done from before I could walk or talk but I have not always approached the worship experience with the best frame of mind. When I was young, I would feign a tummy ache or some other illness so I could sleep in and watch cartoons on a black and white TV with only three channels. My father would come into the room and say, “Listen, son. You can do what you want, but God has something special waiting for you today at church and the devil doesn’t want you to enjoy it!” Needless to say that was enough to get me out of bed and into the car. Thanks, dad.

As I grew older and was out on my own, I would go to church but my heart was often distracted by thoughts like: “Man! This song again? I really can’t stand this tune!” or... ”Whew! That communion wafer was a bit stale!” or... “Yikes! I thought the bread was stale but it’s not as stale as this sermon!” You get the idea. When anything happened that didn’t please me just right, I would clam up and lose interest in the activity.

Then one day, things changed. I realized I wasn’t there for my personal pleasure or entertainment. I was there to please God. Six days a week we are to live, work, and play in His creation. Then on that seventh day we are to turn away from the creation and focus our attention on The Creator. No. It wasn’t a voice from Heaven or anything like that that told me this. No. It was a movie. The movie, Ivanhoe, to be exact. From 1952, starring Robert Taylor and Liz Taylor, the movie was set in the middle ages when knights in shining armor clashed in hopes of rescuing the damsel in distress. There was one scene in particular that caught my attention.

A day was declared when all the inhabitants of the kingdom were to gather at the castle for the purpose of adoring the king.

There were musicians and poets who would recount the brave exploits of the king and his warriors. Food was provided to all of the guests and wine flowed in such quantity, no one left the celebration hungry or thirsty. Certain individuals would receive the special honor of knighthood thereby becoming full members of the kingdom. Even those who had violated the king’s law would be pardoned and set free. At the end of the celebration, the people would depart with the knowledge that they do indeed serve a powerful king, a generous king, and a merciful king. They knew they were under his protection and that his empire was secure.

So when you look around your gathering place during the worship service, the music praises the Name of Our King, stories are told of His power and majesty, we share a meal and are filled with The Bread of Life from which we’ll never hunger and Living Water from which we will never thirst. Some individuals are Baptized, making them full participants in The Kingdom, and each of you receives forgiveness from breaking The King’s Law. Just as in the movie, we all depart the celebration of Our King and LORD with the knowledge that we do indeed serve a powerful King, a generous Father, and a merciful Savior. We are assured we’re under His protection and that His empire is secure and everlasting.