Last Sunday I was doing the things I usually do before church to get things ready for worship. Some of those things are pretty ordinary and anyone could do them, such as turning the heat up and starting the coffee. I just happen to be at church and so I do them. Other tasks are more particular to my role in leading worship, and I do them as part of being conscientious about my role in our congregation.
One of the most essential of these tasks is to take a few minutes and read aloud all of the parts of the worship service that are written down. Some parts of worship are written out and other parts I do more extemporaneously I learned, the hard way, that reading these parts aloud before worship prevents me from being surprised at how they sound during worship. It is one thing to read a sentence in my mind and think it sounds fine, and another thing to read it aloud and understand that it needs to be read in a certain way, or with a change to the wording.
Last Sunday I was doing just that and reading Psalm 100, which as written in the Good News Translation, was our call to worship. It begins,
"Sing to the Lord, all the world.
Worship the Lord with joy;
come before him with happy songs!"
"Come before him with happy songs" made me quite literally laugh out loud. Having two additional youngsters in our home for the past two months has brought a number of changes to the ways things get done each morning. We are still sorting things out, which is particularly noticeable to me on a Sunday morning, when "going to work" means something quite different from simply walking from our bedroom downstairs to my home office.
As I was at church preparing I knew that the three children at home were giving Robin a bit more chaos than usual, even for a Sunday. Reading that phrase, "come before him with happy songs," reminded me that despite the chaos and the unsettled routines, our purpose that morning was to gather to worship God. As we worship we try to set aside the cares and worries of the moment and turn our attention to God, remembering who He is and what He has done, looking forward to the future glory He has promised.
All three of the children in our home are delightful in their own ways, and one the things they have in common are that they are each learning to love and worship God. The chaos is but for a moment and one day the happy songs of worship we sing here will be sung for eternity. Amen.