Come, Let Us Worship!
Though the recent COVID challenges have caused some inconsistencies, our family has a tradition of taking an annual beach vacation. This is a time when we take the week off to rest, relax, and decompress in the sun and waves. There’s no agenda, no schedule, no work, no pressure, no distraction from the singular intention of reconnecting and celebrating the love we share for each other . . . and the beach.
In planning and preparing, we spend untold hours searching for a condo that would accommodate our growing family, give us a front row seat on the ocean, and offer comfort and quality while staying within our budget. We write out menus and grocery lists, pack swimsuits and games, put holds on mail and newspaper delivery, and line up redundancy plans for work responsibilities. We think ahead for what games, movies, and sport equipment we want to include. We even challenge ourselves to disconnect from our telephones and all social media.
The addition of our granddaughters and granddog into the mix have called for some new considerations. We search for local activities that would be entertaining for young children, check the “pets welcome” filter in our condo search, and look forward to a “Nonna and Papa evening” so our married children can enjoy a kid and dog-free date night. All of these adjustments are happily accommodated and part of the joy.
I doubt my family is unique in how we plan for a vacation. Most people reading this blog will be nodding their heads, remembering their own trips and the joyful anticipation of the event.
Come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come to him with thanksgiving. Let us sing psalms of praise to him. For the Lord is a great God, a great King above all gods. He holds in his hands the depths of the earth and the mightiest mountains. The sea belongs to him, for he made it. His hands formed the dry land, too. Come, let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the Lord our maker, for he is our God. We are the people he watches over, the flock under his care. Psalm 95:1-7
How might the experience of corporate worship change if we viewed it with as much anticipation as a family vacation? God never intended worship to be an obligation, something to check off our to-do list. Rather, we are invited to a joyful celebration for the purpose of honoring our Creator, reconnecting with family and friends, and celebrating the life-giving relationship made possible by the grace of God.
God invites us to worship, knowing our need to step out of the constant desire to increase our own worth and acknowledge our dependence on our Savior, the restorative powers of loving and serving in a community, and the realization that we are not alone.
As the family increases, the experience may change, but that is God’s intention and only adds to the beauty of the sacred gathering. My responsibility is simply to make myself available, set aside all distractions, and respond with joy in the celebration.