Aug10WedAugust 10, 2016
Nearly every part of life within our family includes ‘preparing’ right now. (Not to be with 'prepping' which means to stockpile water bottles, rice and firewood for some post-apocalyptic world). We are preparing to send our older children back to school by purchasing supplies and meeting with their teachers. We are preparing to hire a new babysitter for younger children. We are preparing to move our bridal store into a brand new building in time for a grand opening at the beginning of September. And as a pastor, I’m preparing for the various sermon series’ and leadership strategies to implement between now and the end of the year. Yes, ‘tis the season of preparation.
Looking ahead to the next thing and taking the appropriate steps forward is a very normal part of life. Our readings through the first part of Exodus demonstrate the way that the Lord was preparing Moses to lead the nation of Israel out of Egypt. Our Scriptural text from this past Sunday, led to us to consider how to prepare to partake in the Lord’s Supper – by 1) looking up towards the sacrifice of Jesus, 2) looking inward for any unrepentant sin or unresolved bitterness, and 3) to look outward towards our relationships among the body of believers.
Preparing may be necessary and very good, but it can also lead people towards a state of discontentment or impatience. We can grow discontent in the moment because we are eager to get the task done (like finally sending kids to their first day of school). Or we can grow impatient because the task seems to drag on and on (like preparing to move a business). Yet in those moments, it is critical for us to remember to stop and enjoy the moment which has been given to us by graciously God. How did the Early Church leaders do that even as hundreds of Jews were coming to faith in Jesus and Early Church leadership was constantly preparing new ways to meet needs, teach people and engage in prayer? They took time to praise God together in their homes and in public (Acts 2:46-47).
As you prepare for whatever is coming for you this fall, continue to incorporate habits of praise and worship into your day. It will focus your attention on God’s sovereignty which is higher and better than any of our best laid plans. Plus, it will remind all of us to be thankful for the gifts which are already part of this day.