Tomorrow begins a new church season. The 40 days of preparation for the season of Easter (or Lent – Latin for Spring) begin tomorrow with a day known as Ash Wednesday.
Mark D. Roberts, whose blog I’ve linked to before has a great article on the whole idea of Ash Wednesday. As I read it, I identified with much of what he was saying and I almost thought he was telling my story. I encourage you to read it in preparation for tomorrow.
What Is Ash Wednesday?
Over the last few decades most of us have heard about the “worship wars” that have happened in churches. The term is really a misnomer because if there is warring going on in the church the worship isn’t happening. What usually happens is that we have our human preferences about worship is and then transfer them to what we think God’s preferences are. Worship is not what kind or style of music we use – it is not traditional or contemporary – it is not free worship or liturgical – it is not in what version of the Bible we use. [Dale: there are so many things that we use to define what worship is – I like to think that worship is everything that we do to glorify God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.] Worship has everything to do with our hearts and our attitudes as we worship.
A good place to start is Isaiah 6. Isaiah is in the temple doing his priestly duties — one of them may be worshiping God and the leading of others in worship. Let’s take a look at Isaiah 6:1-4:
1 It was in the year King Uzziah died that I saw the Lord. He was sitting on a lofty throne, and the train of his robe filled the Temple. 2 Attending him were mighty seraphim, each having six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. 3 They were calling out to each other,
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies!
The whole earth is filled with his glory!”
4 Their voices shook the Temple to its foundations, and the entire building was filled with smoke.
Sometimes I think we forget why we are going to church and who we are worshipping. I grew up in a tradition where you entered the sanctuary and began to prepare your heart for the service. Part of what has happened is that as our culture has grown more casual, so has our worship and our approach to worship. While I don’t see a problem with making people feel comfortable, we also need to remember that the sanctuary is a special place – a place where we meet a holy God. It is a special place set apart (therefore holy) where we worship God. I write this to remind each one of us, including myself that as we enter the place of worship, let’s remember that we are preparing to worship the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, and the God of Gods.
The first thing that happens in worship is preparing our hearts to worship God. We must remember how Holy God is – that he is much more than our friend. He is worthy of more than we could ever give.
Tonight was the last night of the regular season. Next week we have something called a roll-off. The top four teams compete for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place for the season. The remaining 12 teams are all pitted against each other – each rolling on a different pair of lanes. It’s wierd because the team you are bowling against really doesn’t matter, because you are rolling against 11 other teams.
We started the night in 10th place. We will not be rolling for any of the top positions next week 😦 We did bowl very well tonight, taking all 7 points. We had 42 wins and 42 losses, so now we have 49 wins and 42 losses.
On a personal note I bowled a 172, 114, 145 for a 431 series, which is above my average. I will finish the season at a 139 average, which is 11 pins higher than last year 🙂 It has been a good year. One more week to go. Take care.
New artist Josh Wilson plays a unique arrangement of “Amazing Grace.”
Tonight as I write, we are waiting for cinamon rolls to come out of the oven. I love cinnamon rolls with their sticky white icing. I’m waiting for the wonderful warm smell to invade the living room. It will be better than the residual skunk smell 🙂 (Sorry Pam, I couldn’t resist.) In reality, once you are in the house, you don’t even smell it anymore. It was a sunny, cold, windy day on the Southside. There were even a few snow flurries in the air this morning.
What a wonderful spirit invade both services today. This morning our pianist was sick, so instead of playing guitar, I led worship from the piano. It was good to be in the house of the Lord today. We had a great time of singing (again from my keyboard) this evening and then a good Bible study as we continue our way through James.
I didn’t even realize how tired I was until I laid on the bed this afternoon and took a long nap — I’m still kind of groggy. That’s why I’m writing this so early, so I can get to bed. I pray that each of you have a great week. Blessings — seize the day!
February 22, 2009
Seventh Sunday after Epiphany
Call to Worship – Psalm 50:1-6
Song of Worship – My Wonderful Lord (Lillenas)
Songs of Worship – There’s Something About That Name (Gaither); Agnus Dei (Smith); Thou Art Worthy (Mills)
Worship Through Prayer
Worship Through Giving
Song of Worship – Wonderful (Lillenas)
Worship Through God’s Word – Beyond the Mountaintop [audio][video]
Song of Commitment – Shine, Jesus, Shine (Kendrick)
This past week we took Dale to the eye doctor and found out that he needs an operation on both of his eyes. As we left the doctor office I was told that Dale cannot drive until he gets his eyes operated on. This event has made both of our lives interesting because neither of us likes the other person driving. Last night both Dale and Anna had events they had to go to, so I ended up driving both of them to their events. Anna had to come home early because she was sick. As a good mom I went as fast I could to pick her us. For those who do not know we live in a rural area and I was driving down the winding road to Anna’s high School I had a problem there was a skunk on the road. I have only ever once hit another animal while driving and it was a cat. Our children loves tell that story because the cat had a mouse in its mouth. When the cat died the mouse was stuck in the cat’s mouth and its legs keep moving. Ok back to the story, I stop to let the skunk get off the road and go back to its family. The skunk did not move as fast as I thought is should and yes, I hit it. The part of this story is when Anna and I were almost home we came across some deer and Bambi was smart enough to stay of the road till we passed. When got home I thought it would be safe to put the van in the garage, remember I have never hit a skunk before. I had to get Dale from his event late last night and it is not safe to go outside. At night we have weird looking people parked in the church’s driveway which is part of our home driveway. Well, Flower’s smells decide to take over the whole house. I am glad Dale was smart to open the window in our bedroom last night. This morning I took the car and got it washed and the window are open as I write this blog. Now what to do with the smell in the house? It is too cold to open the window and I do have a sick child today. I have learned a great lesson in this event, too bad we have to put up with the smell.