On: December 3, 2014 | By: admin | Under: Blog | Comments: Comments are off
“Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover. When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom.” [Luke 2:41-42]
Worship, like much human activity, has its rhythms. We see here that Jesus’ family travelled to Jerusalem each year for the Passover festival. They were continuing the pattern established for centuries and beautifully illustrated in the opening words of Psalm 122: ‘I rejoiced with those who said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” Our feet are standing in your gates, Jerusalem.’ Modern day conferences, such New Wine, Keswick and Spring Harvest in the UK, continue this pattern.
We live in the Age of the Spirit when all individual believers have the extraordinary privilege of God dwelling within them (we are all temples of the Holy Spirit, 1 Cor 6:19), and the church itself is God’s temple (1 Cor 3:16 – another wonderful 3:16 – see Welcome). We are also privileged to have the Bible in our own language and no end of books and resources to help us come closer to God.
So far, all good. My challenge to myself and all readers, though, is this: have we become overly familiar with this easy and regular access to God and lost a sense of intentionality and anticipation reflected by the Psalmist above where corporate rejoicing accompanied the annual family trip to the temple?
Maybe we need to review the rhythm of our worship, ensuring we build in a light touch daily time with God (making sure we clock up long enough to do more than say “Hi there” as we rush out of the door); perhaps a personal hour set aside each week to listen to God (in addition to time spent with other Christians at church); a day or part day each month to recharge our batteries (planned time away from our usual environment, such as a country walk with friends when we share faith stories?); and a longer period each year (an established conference or personalised stay at a retreat centre?) to take stock and re-orientate ourselves. There’s no one size fits all, but I would suggest that a planned structure could give better shape and anticipation to our walk with Jesus.
Just a thought.
Father God, it is a wonderful thing that you give us such freedom to experience and worship you. Protect us from allowing this to become a too easy familiarity and lead us to explore going deeper with You. Amen.