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We decide what we get out of Sundays.

You and I…

We are the ones who make the decision to unclench fists and preferences to really receive.

No matter who’s preaching.

No matter what worship songs are sung.

No matter liturgical or charismatic or conservative or evangelical.

No matter cathedral or loft or school or tent or barn or basement.

When we show up on the Sabbath, we are responsible for positioning our own selves.

Heart open. Knees bent. Hands cupped. Mind at attention.

Pastors and clergy, church staff, and volunteers…. it is their job to pray incessantly, listen keenly, and carry out in obedience what the Lord lays on their hearts for the congregation each week.

Most of them do this willingly, well, and whole heartedly.

I get to personally see the immense effort and care that goes into sermons and services. It’s never a flippant or offhand process. It’s a prayerful and purposed one that takes great commitment and patience. All pastors, speakers, musicians, teachers, prayer warriors, elders, the ones I have seen anyhow, are pouring themselves fully into creating an opportunity for us to encounter God in a personal way.

But sometimes…

I also expect them to pry my mouth open and spoon feed me whatever my appetite is craving for that day.

Sometimes I expect them to entertain me rather than teach me, cater to me rather than reconcile me, and coddle me rather than confront me.

And there have been times where I have expected them to create a Kate-centered atmosphere that incorporates my favorite speaker, my most beloved worship ballads, my most loved musicians, my most cherished prayer person, and my favorite free hot drink.

Peeling back the curtain here a bit, you can see my bent towards egocentrism.

But if I may say so sweetly, I think I might have friends there.

It’s normal and natural to have different flavors and inclinations when it comes to worship and faith. This is good, and was intended, I think. I celebrate the diversity of styles and leanings.

It’s the pickiness within our own pews and souls that we need to relinquish.

It’s committing to making sure we seek the Lord ourselves, and determining to recognize that there is something special and personal to be offered to us at each gathering.

And understanding it’s us that has to reach out and grab that. No matter the speaker, song, style, or venue.

Ministers have their role. The God of it all comes and does the healing and changing. And we put ourselves at His feet and allow Him to. Note, this doesn’t mainly happen at church. It happens in our own personal seeking. Sundays (for some, Saturdays) are just the day we come and do it together.

Remembering all the while that worship is praising God for what He has done, who He is, and how we have encountered Him in our personal relationships. It’s coming together to adulate Him, not cradle and glorify us.

Being fully committed to the faith family we have found ourselves in, deciding to hold ourselves responsible for growth, asking the Lord to speak, move, help and pour into us through whatever is playing out at any given Sunday service…

These things will reap much.

Of course, there are occasionally reasons to move congregations and/or bring up concerns and/or make some changes. Absolutely.

But on the whole, it’s us.

It’s the reader and the writer here that gets to decide if we find something to fill us or empty us on that first day of the week. And more importantly…

It’s up to us…. to recognize that it isn’t about us.

I’ve been gracefully nudged on this the last few months. I needed the elbow.

Perhaps you did too.

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Jan Thompson

    So true for each of us in whatever Church building, singing whichever worship songs, reading the word in many different translations.
    Thank you for nudging us !
    Love to my precious Harden family !

  2. Kate

    And love right back to you! Hugs! Thanks for reading!

  3. Diana Lea

    The word “egocentric” really caused an “Ouchie!” From me. I have been very convicted of that, especially within the last year. I am confessing it and asking to be “aware” each time it begins to flare up.

  4. Kate

    Ah yes! It’s shown itself many times over the last for months for me. Lord guide us on this! Thank you for reading! Have a great evening! – Kate

  5. Denise Archambault

    Thanks for the elbow. It was timely. I’ve found myself longing for just a few moments of silence in church. Maybe no music during every prayer to tell my spirit how it should feel,. Maybe just quietness so I can focus not on my feelings at all, but on God’s worth. And maybe no dimming and brightening of the lights, again to sway my emotional response as the song reaches a crescendo and then goes softer again, with the “house lights” following faithfully.

    So I was just praying yesterday “Really God – am I supposed to have to fight so hard just to worship you in spirit and in truth???”. And then this morning, I randomly find this blog of yours and I see that the answer is “Yes”. Yes, I should fight for that with all the grace and strength God gives me because there’s nothing more worthy of my efforts than whatever it takes to bring my worship to Him. Through prayers that have a soundtrack, through lights that try to evoke my emotions, through everything and anything that would try to draw my heart off of him. Thank you..

  6. Kate

    Thank you for reading! May you be blessed as you seek the Lord purely and honestly and wholly! I trust that He will meet you sweetly as you steadily pursue Him! Enjoy your day! – Kate 🙂

  7. Evangeline Willisms

    I loved this post friend. Right on in every way. I am sure we all have a nudge here and there. But the times I am there with no care of who the Lord is going to us or even what song is when I experience Jesus so deeply. Life changing ways.

  8. Kate

    I sure do love you, Evangeline! Your friendship and prayers bless me so much! Hugs! – Kate 🙂

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