“At worship, we are often at our most vulnerable, and most open to an encounter with God. But worship can be dulled by repetition. I think one of the most important ways of revitalizing our experience of worship, is through anticipation – coming to worship full of expectancy that we are about to encounter God.”
This quote is from the Society of Saint John the Evangelist - SSJE, called Brother Give us a Word. Every day a one word meditation like this comes to my inbox. You can subscribe to this too. Go to SSJE.org
As we begin a new season of the church year and school year and get back into those routines, this is an important reminder about worship. I would invite you to think about this when you are in the car on your way to church. When we worship we bring our whole self, our cares and concerns, our thoughts and prayers. Let us also bring joy and anticipation.
I remember when I was growing up, the time before church, and sometimes on our way to church, was filled with stress and tension. This was probably due to the difficulty of getting a large family ready and out the door, and also my father’s intense distaste for being late; especially to church! Children absorb everything like a sponge. As a child, I loved going to church, but joy was sometimes dampened by adults (not just parents) who were grumpy or bored. What if we demonstrated anticipation, excitement, joy, even relief that we are on our way to the house of God. How would this change what our children experience? How would this change our own experience?
Observe how children approach the communion rail. They have a sense of excitement. Often they look up at me with a look of anticipation, wonder, joy, shyness. It is wonderful to behold their faces in this moment. I wonder, what are they thinking about as they witness the kneeling posture of their parents and others around them?
In addition to worship we have many exciting things happening this Fall at St Luke’s for you to anticipate. Join us for our Sunday School kickoff and picnic on September 11, Blessing of the animals on October 2 and many other events for you and children. With anticipation of encountering God and one another - we’ll see you soon!