Preparing for Worship

by | Jun 17, 2022 | Preparing For Worship

Preparing for Worship – Jeff Hampton.


So, how are you feeling today — about your life, about your family, about the world? If you’re like me, you probably have a lot on your mind. If you’re like the characters in last week’s Faith in 3D production of To Whom it May Concern, you’ve probably brought a lot of those thoughts into the church with you this morning.

It’s hard not to come to church burdened and distracted. There’s so much in life to contend with, and it’s hard to set it aside, even for just a few hours on a Sunday morning. During the fellowship time of coffee and Bible study with our church family, we may be able to push things aside for awhile, but then when we sit in the quiet of the Sanctuary those distractions can easily tumble back into view.

Sometimes this is exactly why we come to church; we come to worship, of course, but we also come to wrestle with the chaos and worries of our lives. We may even come to symbolically lay them on the altar and ask God’s help in sorting them out. That can be an act of worship too — acknowledging that God is in control. But if that is all we do — come to church seeking relief and release — then we are not leaving room and time for the type of worship that fills us up with God’s holy presence. We need that too.

In today’s anthem, “Give Me Jesus,” we hear the choir sing of three scenarios — being alone, facing death, and wanting to sing — and each time there is this statement: “You may have all the rest, give me Jesus.” It doesn’t say what “the rest” is, but I believe it might be anything and everything the world has to offer that ultimately weighs us down: our worries, hungers, pains, disappointments and doubts as well as our joys, pleasures, successes and contentments.

As we begin worship today, consider emptying yourself out and asking God for just one thing: Jesus. Everything else? It will be waiting for you to take up again when you leave. Better yet if you leave with Jesus by your side and in your heart so that you aren’t carrying “the rest” all by yourself. Actually, we never really are, but sometimes we need to be reminded that we need to ask just for Jesus.