…by Brian Walker
We all enjoy a good story. Curling up with a good book or going to see that next great movie. All of these (at least the great ones) include three main elements. A great story always has some sort of romance element, conflict and a struggling protagonist. In these stories the protagonist is trying to transcend the conflict that is laid before him or her. This conflict or problem could be anything from a Bond villain trying to take over the world to the nerdy guy who is trying to get the girl. The latter of the two is often motivated by love and this is where our story meets God’s story. In love, God sent His Son to take our place in death because of our sin. Jesus said, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” The conflict in this story you may ask, is that our sin causes a division between us and God, but His great action, motivated by love, transcended this conflict once and for all. Now we have the opportunity to respond and one way we do this is on Sunday. During this time we gather to worship, hear, remember and respond to an amazing God.
Being that God’s story is central to our reason for gathering, it was great to see through the eye of a child what a Sunday morning is all about. For those of us that had children or grandchildren there, we have the opportunity to go through the coloring book and do some of the After Sunday Activities. This will be such a great and fun way to remind not only the children, but also us, of why we are doing the things that we are doing. Since you might be reading this later in the week, try doing one of the activities in the morning and one in the evening. Also keep in mind that they don’t necessarily need to be done in order.
For those us that don’t have kids, the application for us might not be as concrete. For me though, I was reminded again that our worship flows out of what God has done for us. Beyond responding by singing, praying or reading scripture together, the moment that typifies what God has done is for us is communion. At that moment in our gathering, we not only remember what Christ has done for us, but we proclaim what He has done (defeated sin and death) and is doing before the Father (acting as our high priest or representative). It is our most intimate time with God and the awesome thing is that we have the chance to do that every week! Another great thing that I was reminded of that morning was that we gather to hear God’s message. This is such a great way for us to hear what God has to tell us or where He wants to lead us and one great thing about it is that we then have the opportunity to respond in often a simple and practical next step. Gathering to respond to what God has done and hearing God’s word are two things that I will not quickly forget and I hope they won’t be for you either.
So the next step for us should be to keep in mind every week why we gather on a Sunday morning and why we do the things that we do. Perhaps the next time you are singing a worship song, taking communion or hearing the message you’ll remember that scripture encourages us to do these things and that you are connecting with the God of the universe. The idea that we get to connect with Him is mind blowing. I hope that you took this Sunday to heart as much as I did.