Friday September 30 2016

130801-dailydevovisuals-fri

Scripture: Psalm 84

Key verse: (4) “Happy are those who live in your house, ever singing your praise.”

Reflection: How do you think about  worship? Is it something you look forward to or something you dread?  There are two broad categories of worship – personal worship and communal worship.  What we do on Sunday when we gather is communal worship.  It is a time to gather as a community of faith to praise, pray, and listen to and for the Word of God.  Most of us have specific preferences when we worship.  But, no matter what these preferences might be we want to experience something.  We want to be lifted up out of our everyday lives and hear a word of hope or challenge.  The sole focus of worship is on God, but sometimes we get sidetracked by our own needs and wants and we forget to participate.

Years ago, when I was studying in Jerusalem, the local mosque would sound the call to prayer.  This call happened five times a day: predawn, noon, afternoon, sunset, and evening.  One day at noon,  as I was walking near the Dome of the Rock, the familiar call went out.  People left their shops and began running toward the mosque. Running!  There was a sense of urgency and of joy as people left what they were doing to go and pray.  I was struck by this kind of devotion.

What would happen if we approached our Sunday worship this way?  What if we were filled with such anticipation that we couldn’t wait to get to church to worship God?  The Psalmist says: “How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD of hosts!  My soul longs, indeed it faints for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh sings for joy to the living God.”

Make Sunday a special day of the week when you give yourself fully to God in worship. Then, see what happens.

Prayer: O LORD, thank you for the gift of worship. Bestow your favor on us as we gather.  Help us to find strength in your presence and the presence of one another.   Help us to worship you with reverent and believing hearts.  May a day in your courts be better than a thousand elsewhere.   In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.

Author: Deborah Conner

[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].

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