Do you remember your first date? How about the first date with that very special one? Perhaps those two are one in the same.
How did you go about getting ready? Did you take extra time to prepare? How many times did you look in the mirror before finally exiting the bathroom?
First dates are both exciting and fearful. I remember my very first date with Tina. We went to see the movie “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” I had saved enough money to go out to eat after the movie, but she insisted she was not hungry. She was trying to save me money. In the meantime I hadn’t eaten supper. After I dropped her off at I ate a sack full of Krystals on my way home.
Evidently that first date went okay. We’ve been married 36 years this month. But I must tell you that I worked at it. I dressed nicely, fixed my hair just right, washed and vacuumed my car, used extra mouthwash. I wanted to be ready.
I’m glad I did all those things. I wanted to make a good impression. But I wonder about something. Do I make that kind of effort to impress the one who gave his life for me? Do I prepare to meet him each week before my church gathers for worship?
Of course, as the preacher, I spend time preparing to preach. But do I prepare to worship? Do you?
I remember hearing a sermon once on how to prepare for worship. The preacher offered very simple advice. It was less spiritual than I expected. And yet it was spot on.
During this season, we are preparing to celebrate the birth of our Savior. As you get ready for church this Sunday, let me offer you this practical advice.
First, commit now to go to worship this Sunday. Don’t let anything get in the way. Second, set out your clothes, your Bible, your offering envelope, and anything else you will need on Saturday night. Do it early, and then go to sleep early. Don’t allow Sunday morning to become a rat race. Get up early, get ready, and have a few minutes to relax before you leave for church. Pray and ask God to prepare your heart for his message. And then go, expecting him to speak.
I believe God wants to speak to his children. Are you listening? Sunday’s coming. Get ready.