We are taking some time every Thursday to glean wisdom from someone smarter and more experienced than me concerning the realm of worship. (There is quite a large pool to pull from 🙂 ) Richard Foster has written about the “Kohl Yahweh” (holy expectancy), and he gives practical example of a way to practice this discipline.
Here is a practical handle to put on this idea. Live throughout the week as an heir of the kingdom, listening for his voice, obeying his word. Since you have heard his voice throughout the week, you know that you will hear his voice as you gather for public worship. Enter the service ten minutes early. Lift your heart in adoration to the King of glory. Contemplate his majesty, glory, and tenderness as revealed in Jesus Christ. Picture the marvelous vision that Isaiah had of the Lord “high and lifted up” or the magnificent revelation that John had of Christ with eyes “like a flame of fire” and voice “like the sound of many waters” (Isa. 6; Rev. 1). Invite the real Presence to be manifest.
Next, lift into the light of Christ the pastor and other worship leaders. Picture the Shekinah of God’s radiance surrounding them. Inwardly release them to speak the truth boldly in the power of the Lord.
When people begin to enter the room, glance around until you see someone who needs your intercessory work. Perhaps their shoulders are drooped or they seem a bit sad. Lift them into the glorious, refreshing light of his Presence. See the burden tumbling from their shoulders as it did from Pilgrim’s in Bunyan’s allegory. Hold them as a special intention throughout the service. If only a few in any given congregation will do this, it will deepen the worship experience of all.
My encouragement to you is to take the spirit of this concept and make it your own. What is God calling you to do? It might not look exactly like Foster wrote it. It might look friendlier. You may even go over to the sad person, introduce yourself, and tell them that you are happy they are there. This is a time when people in the body of Christ fulfill more of what makes them who they are. Both exercising and receiving this practice can help David to be more fully David, Cindy more fully Cindy, and Adam more fully Adam.
I’m looking forward to spending time with you this Sunday as we focus on what it might look like to abide in the Lord as wait on and in him. Check out the readings and the music at restorationmusic.wordpress.com .