The Journey to the Pinnacle  

(Jesus said) … “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” – John 8:31 (ESV)

So many of us enjoy our worship life. As Lutherans we sure know how to sing praises to our Lord and in harmony too! We enjoy hearing God’s Word being read, and the fellowshipping of kindred minds.  Lots of Sundays are more enjoyable than others.  The pastor may preach a message that just seems to stick with us more one Sunday than the other … maybe because it strikes right at the heart of where we are in our own lives.  And some Sundays, well, we’re just there. We can’t let go of the week before or the things we have overloaded ourselves with. We’ve pushed aside our Lord all week in favor of ourselves and the whirlwind of anxiety that comes from that just pulls us away from the full enjoyment of being in God’s house and enjoying His presence.  Worship just doesn’t seem to be the sweet spot on some Sundays, does it. One may ask,  “How can worship be better for me?” 

Let me begin by saying this, worship is always good for you. It is where God is present in both Word and Sacrament. There, is where Jesus – the way, the truth and the life - is being given by the power of the Holy Spirit to you. Forgiveness, love and mercy abound. Our Divine service is a beautiful thing for it is where God comes to us and we respond back to Him with praise and adoration. So yes, Worship is a divine, good thing … always.

So then, where does the problem lie?  First and foremost we need to look within. What are we doing to prepare ourselves for worship each week? Are we committed to putting aside the things of the world so that our worship lives can grow? Where is your daily devotion life right now? Is it regular, hit and miss, or just non-existent? Are you committed to and attending a regular Bible Study each week??? – not sporadic – like once a month, but regular. Are you opening yourselves to God’s holy Word?

A couple of years ago, a good friend and brother in Christ and I were having a conversation about pastors in general and the topic turned to being fed as pastors. How does that happen for us? We discussed how we did that … How we too hunger for and need to hear God’s Word of forgiveness and love for us. He said to me, “you know brother, it’s a beautiful thing to know our dependence on and need for God’s Word. I just know when my tank is low and needs filling. I seek a way to make that happen, even if I have to take a Sunday off and attend somewhere else. But the most important, natural thing that prepares me for worship is regular Bible Study. I actually believe Bible Study should be in the BIG BOLD letters on the sign in front of the church and Worship in letters just a little smaller. Worship is the pinnacle and regular Bible Study is the vehicle that takes all of us to the pinnacle.”

So, do you want to experience a more fulfilling all around worship and church life?   All you have to do is come and enjoy the wonder God has in store for you.  I’ll see you in Bible Study!

 God’s peace,

Pastor Tom

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