Prepared

Concerning Christian worship, Don E. Saliers writes in his book Worship Come To Its Senses:

So why do we settle for so little [in worship]?  In part it is because we bring so little to Christian worship.  There is so much difference between coming to be entertained — to simply receive a shot of grace or good advice for the coming week — and bringing all of our life to the table of the Word and the meal.  To gather in the name of Jesus to praise God and to hear with delight and awe what God speaks and does in our midst is to come to the place where duty and delight embrace.  If we should discover in such a place God’s way with us, then it will be in wonder and praise.  Would this not send us to live with deeper delight and gladness than if we only celebrate ourselves as we already are?

But then, we may also settle for so little because we bring too much with us:  cluttered lives, a thousand distractions, and our habitual images of ourselves.  Christian liturgy does not force us; we are invited and thus must be prepared.  There is considerable virtue in the practice of making confession before receiving Eucharist.  This is not because God does not accept sinners at the table, but simply because preparing to worship God gives us an opportunity to make connections between how we live and how we shall worship God.  When invited to someone’s special dinner party, do we not prepare in some special way?  If we take it for granted or show up late with our minds and hearts elsewhere, the dinner and conversation will not be engaging.  We risk alienating our hosts, or disappointing them in all the preparation they lavished for our coming with other guests.  So it is with Christian liturgy.

Powerful, truthful words concerning our approach and worship to God.  I could not have said it better myself.

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