Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Week Eighteen - Gladly Engaged

Beside the Well

            I’m still sharing Rev Martin’s sermon on Psalm 122:1.  I’m going to list his outline, and when I get to the next point that spoke to my heart, I’ll ramble a bit!
            When coming to the house of the Lord, certain thoughts will enter our minds.  1) Thoughts of the Lord Himself.  We can be glad to have a Lord who is our shepherd, our fortress, and our sun and shield. God’s goodness will gladden our hearts.  2) Thoughts about the exercises and acts of worship like prayer, giving, and singing. 3) Thoughts of receiving a special blessing from God. 4) Thoughts about fellowship with other believers.  5) Thoughts about the privilege of serving the Lord.  6) Thoughts about worship.  And this is where I found another gem.
            Rev Martin wrote, “What, for example, do you expect in worship?  You expect the minister to confess, give thanks, and pray for you, and you do not so much join with him as listen to him. This ought not to be, for you yourselves are a priesthood…Our desire is, that you should pray with me, and give thanks with me, and confess sin with me, allowing me to lead you, but not allowing my prayers to be substituted for your own.” (p 52)
            How many times have I sat in church as a spectator instead of engaging my heart?  How many times have I sung the songs without hearing the words?  How many times have I listened to someone else pray without entering into prayer with them?
            And, when I have engaged, sang with understanding, and prayed with those around me, how much sweeter has been my worship?  How much more precious the tears of confession and rejoicing?  How much more glad my comment as I left the building—“it was good to go into the house of the Lord?”
            So, next Sunday, instead of just bumbling in and finding your seat, join in.  Lead someone to come with you, pray along with those who are praying, sing allowing the words to penetrate your heart, and worship as someone who is a part of the body of Christ—alive unto God and glad to be so!

Martin, Rev. Samuel, Westminister Chapel Pulpit, Reports of Sermons, 1859, James Brown, London

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