“For in him we live and move and have our being.” Acts 17:28
We all have much to learn concerning the worship of our Lord, so fortunately God gave us some incredible people who have walked before us. So without further ado, Richard Foster:
To worship is to experience Reality, to touch Life. It is to know, to feel, to experience the resurrected Christ in the midst of the gathered community. It is a breaking into the Shekinah of God, or better yet, being invaded by the Shekinah of God.*
Brother Lawrence knew the same reality. Because he experienced the presence of God in the kitchen, he knew he would meet God in the Mass as well. He writes, “I cannot imagine how religious persons can live satisfied without the practice of the Presence of God” Those who have once tasted the Shekinah of God in daily experience can never again live satisfied without “the practice of the presence of God.”
Catching the vision from Brother Lawrence and Frank Laubach, I dedicated one whole year to learning how to live with a perpetual openness to Jesus as my present Teacher. I determined to learn his vocabulary: is he addressing me through those singing birds or that sad face? I sought to allow him to move through every action: my fingers while writing, my voice while speaking. My desire was to punctuate each minute with inward whisperings of adoration, praise, and thanksgiving. Often I failed for hours, even days at a time. But each time I cam back and tried again. That year did many things for me, but it especially heightened my sense of expectancy in public worship. After all, he had graciously spoken to me in dozens of little ways throughout the week; he will certainly speak to me here as well. In addition, I found it increasingly easier to distinguish his voice from the blare of everyday life.”
My hope for you, my friends at Restoration, is that the practice of the presence of God will stir your hearts like it did with the travelers on the road to Emmaeus so that on Sunday when we join together at the Lord’s table to celebrate his death and resurrection (Luke 24:13-35), we can join in one voice proclaiming, “O! Happy Day…Jesus washed my sins away!” The link below has the Scripture readings and the music for Sunday to help you prepare your hearts. Well, I’m off to go look at a tree to see what God wants to teach me through it (Thanks, Ramsey).
*” ‘ Shekinah’ means the glory or the radiance of God dwelling in the midst of his people. It denotes the immediate Presence of God as opposed to a God who is abstract or aloof.”
(Excerpts from the chapter on worship in “Celebration of Discipline”)