As all of us prepare our hearts and minds for worship tommorrow, my prayer is that we go expecting to encounter the glory of God, his powerful presence, first and foremost. I pray that, as we sleep, God would expand our want to sing of who he is and hear of what he’s done. I pray that we go ready and willing to feel the grief of our sin so that we can feel the glory of his salvation. I pray that we go, in other words, to see God on display, not preachers or musicians. A worship service is not the place to showcase human talent. It’s the place for God to showcase his Divine treasure. A worship service that contains the power to change us (even us preachers) is a worship service that leaves us with grand impressions of Divine personality, not grand impressions of human personality. Isaiah did not leave the temple in Isaiah 6 thinking, “What great music, what a great building, what a great preacher.” He left thinking, “What a great God.”
Perhaps John Stott’s words will be used to grow our love for the great Gospel we will encounter tommorrow: “The essence of sin is man substituting himself for God, while the essence of salvation is God substituting himself for man. Man asserts himself against God and puts himself where only God deserves to be; God sacrifices himself for man and puts himself where only man deserves to be.” Amen!
Remember: we gather for worship not to escape the real world, but to be reminded that this world is not all there is. For the Christian, the best is yet to come. So worship humbly and hard tommorrow. You need it!