Why We Gather Before Worship

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On my first Sunday to participate in worship at Rockbridge, it was actually the week before my appointment began, I noticed something remarkable about this church: people were so warm and friendly that when the music started, the sanctuary was empty. Everyone was still gathering in the living room (that’s what we call our entry way) eating donuts and chatting. This is a wonderful thing! When we gather, we do so as a family of faith and to have that family experience we need to have time to share our lives together. I always say, “Come early and stay late!” This is the time where we prepare our hearts and mind to encounter and worship the Holy God. Before worship is a wonderful time to prepare your heart and mind for entering into a holy time. As we make our way to the sanctuary, we begin with and opening prayer and praise. It is important to remember that we are here to praise God and while we should expect the music and everything else to be of quality that should not matter on whether or not we can give God the glory that God deserves. It is more about the state of our hearts. How should we sing? I love the statements in the UMC hymnal from John Wesley in the picture!

What wonderful advice! I am not sure how we sing both lustily and modestly but I get the point he is making to sing with passion but don’t be a distraction! I’ll leave you with the last quote, “Above all sing spiritually. Have an eye to God in every word you sing. Aim at pleasing him more than yourself or any other creature.”