I’m going to let you in on a little secret. If you’re coming late to church, you’re missing out.
I don’t think we understand just how valuable worshipping God is. One of the common mistakes made today is to believe that Jesus died only to save us from punishment. The reality is that Jesus came to do much more: he came to make all things right. And we are only truly “right” when we worship God.
Our one great need is not comfort or security. Our great need, what we were designed for above all else, is to give ourselves in adoration and obedience to our Creator who loves us more than we can imagine. We are only fully human when all of our lives, whether work or rest, whether alone or together, is lived in worship of the Triune God.
And while we were meant to experience all of life as worship of God, there is something especially important in what happens on Sunday morning. When we gather together, it’s not just a time when we hear a sermon after a few introductory songs—church is more than a sermon delivery device! No, when we gather, in a mysterious but real way, God draws near to us in love, and he invites us to become ourselves: he kindly calls us to worship him, surprisingly telling us that even our flawed, inadequate worship will be pleasing to him.
And that means every part of the service—even the very beginning!—is sacred and brimming with grace. Just think—every week we get to hear God invite us to meet with him in the call to worship. Every week we have the chance to pause together as God’s people and simply dwell in that amazing reality before responding to our God in musical adoration. Every week we have the privilege of experiencing the powerful Spiritual bonds of unity in Christ as we greet each other. And that’s just the first few minutes of our service.
I realize that Sunday mornings are hard, especially if you have children, and that it’s not always possible to get to church on time. But I also realize that sometimes we can be so accustomed to the generosity of God that we fail even to notice it. In the way we organize our lives, we fail to take hold of the good gifts that God would have us enjoy, including the gift of corporate worship.
My desire is that all of us (including myself!) could gain a vision for just how precious every part of our corporate worship is, so that in all of it, from beginning to end, we together would experience the joy of being truly human, worshipers of the Triune God.