Preparing for worship – Katie Murray.
The calendar may say we have a few more weeks of spring, but all other signs are pointing to summer being well underway. School is out, VBS starts on Monday, and more days than not my children smell like a mix of sunscreen, bug spray and chlorine. I am a person who loves the routine of the school year, but every June I welcome with open arms the act of abandoning our regular schedule. Bedtime becomes more of a suggestion than a rule, our overall pace slows down and there is a freedom that comes with not having to pack school lunches by seven o’clock in the morning
Our first congregational song today includes one of my favorite hymn lines, “ponder anew what the Almighty can do.” The lyrics make me smile (how often do you get to say “ponder” or “anew” these days?), but mainly it is one of my favorites because it always makes me stop and think. Most days I leave very little space in my day for God to surprise me. I assume I know how everything is going to go, how I will likely feel, what I will enjoy and where I will need to power through. Where God might show up in the midst of those activities is usually not on the forefront of my mind. It takes a change in my daily rhythm to awaken my curiosity, listen for God’s movement in the world with fresh eyes, and consider joining in.
Like Abram, who at 75 chose to follow God’s call to leave behind everything he knew, are we open to the possibility that God can still surprise us? That the Spirit can talk to us in a new way? That the Word can be made fresh for our ears?
We all have our ways we are most comfortable connecting to God during worship, but what if today we looked for God speak to us in a new way during this next hour? Perhaps it will be in the music, or Henry’s baptism, or the Children’s Moment, the passing of the offering plates or in Darren’s sermon. What might happen if we collectively expect God to show up this morning and surprise us? Let’s ponder anew together.