In my next life I’m not working weekends!!! But for now weekend are a pretty big deal for me. On Sundays we gather as a community before our God and see what happens. Yes, there is thinking and planning and praying that go on into the gathering, but don’t expect to read what God is going to do in the bulletin. It doesn’t work like that. His plans are as varied as the people who come and as particular as the hidden hurts, fears, burdens and temptations each one faces. I don’t ever quite know what it’s going to look like when God meets us. There is a “handing over” I have to do when I step into the building on Sunday mornings. People will come in various moods and in different states of spiritual condition. It’s too complex to keep up with it all even if I could actually see what is going on. There is an infinity of complexities. When it says in Ecclesiastes that God has set eternity in the heart, He wasn’t kidding. It’s a big world inside of us. I just have to trust that God is the worship leader for the morning and the Holy Spirit can get to each of us in His way and on our level.
I am amazed at how He can speak. Sometimes He actually does use the sermon!!! At other times it’s a song. It can be a word that a friend speaks or the devotional put in the bulletin. Maybe it’s just the actual gathering itself, a visible expression of God’s presence, an affirmation that our faith is more than just an interior state of mind or a mood. It could be the offering, believe it or not. When a worshiper puts in the offering plate his or hers tithe along with a prayer for God to use it to bring glory to himself, there can be in that transaction a touching of God. As the worshiper makes worship tangible through gift-giving she begins to know that her faith is not a sentiment but a commitment.
So I am not sure what God is going to do today. In fact, I should sit loose by that and not get too eager to interfere. I want to lead effectively, but I don’t want to get in God’s way. Yes, I can put all the elements into one finely spun piece of cloth – the right words of welcome, followed by songs that tug the heart in a particular direction, bolstered then by a “right on” Scripture selection and driven home by a response song that gets us all ready for the sermon. I don’t want to avoid thinking all this through and doing it well. Unplanned and poorly executed worship leadership can really get in the way, become an obstacle to God’s speaking. But at best it is only a first step toward God, and then He comes near in His way.
So today we’ll see. I don’t know what God is going to do. I only know that I’ll be there – hoping, seeing, committing, singing, praying, listening, meeting, laughing and crying. And when I go back into my personal world after the service, I will have met him, in his way and on his terms. And that’s good enough for me.