On Corporate Worship, or How Private Worship Fuels The Fire
We need to talk. About the corporate worship of the church. Not just any church. Your church. What are your Sunday mornings like? Do you look forward to joining with the assembled saints and worshiping God?
Before you answer, I have an important announcement. I have decided to participate as a contestant in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. I have selected the 10,000 meter long-distance race as the contest to enter. I have started resting up in preparation for the competition. According to the website for the Olympics, I have around 1,000 days to rest up. That seems like an adequate time for an intense schedule of resting, laying around, napping, and otherwise saving my energy until the starter’s pistol fires. I didn’t feel that I had enough time to adequately rest up for a sooner Olympic. I believe 1,000 days of rest will position me for a strong, gold-medal performance in Tokyo.
What? Why are you looking at me like that? You don’t think 1,000 days of rest will bring me to Tokyo totally prepared for victory? I need to train and run marathons to prepare for the Olympics? Hmmm… let me think about that. In the mean time…
Back to the question about corporate worship at your church. Are you exercising your soul in private worship of God regularly throughout the week? The psalmist wrote, “I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” Private worship will prime your heart for the corporate services of your church. To apply the olympic illustration above, you need to train your heart and mind throughout the week if you are to engage in whole-souled worship with God’s assembled people. Busying yourself throughout the week with insta-urgent demands from sun up to sun down, never leaving time to cultivate your relationship with the Lord or worshiping will leave you feeling empty come Sunday morning. It’s hardly reasonable to expect that you can turn on your heart affections for a few minutes on Sunday morning and feel that you’ve worshipped the Father in spirit and in truth.
I’m left wondering if the wonders of modern life are not robbing what little piety we evangelicals have left. At the very least, the younger strata of the evangelical culture is heavily impacted by the hyperdrive lifestyle. The middle-agers and seniors among us have an opportunity to model a devotional lifestyle before these dear young people.
I know there are many who visit here who do practice private worship throughout the week. The comments section is open. Please share your practice and ideas for pursuing the Lord in private worship throughout the week. This is a means to spur your brothers and sisters on to greater works of love in service to the Lord.