Throughout these weakness-revealed 40 days, our Sundays' Worship Gatherings bring a heightened sense of celebration and relief as we break our fast for 24 joyful hours and thankfully acknowledge God and all that He has done for us.
It is in preparation for tonight's celebration that I find myself ruminating on a passage from Ann Voskamp's book One Thousand Gifts...
Thank God for the time, and very God enters that time, presence hallowing it. True, this, full attention slows time and I live the full moment, right to outer edges. But there's more. I awake to I AM here. When I'm present, I meet I AM, the very presence of a present God. In His embrace, time loses all sense of speed and stress and space and stands so still and ...holy.I have been fascinated with this word "present" as I find it quite elusive in my day to day life, yet it is a discipline He has called Noah and by association, myself, to pursue this year. Being present-minded for our children's sake and friends and family's sake has been a good and healthy endeavor, but it is also to encounter God at every turn....and it works. It's practicing the presence of God and it stretches and tames the unruly and running time, like God making the sun to stand still.
Each time our church family gathers to worship, I pray for focus, for present-mindedness. For time to slow as we lay our burdens down and bow ourselves to our Creator. We will be singing these words of surrender tonight:
Lord as we turn to You, come free us from our sin.
We only have today, so let us now begin.
Lord as we give You more, Your Spirit swells within;
Cause You are Holy, Holy Lord
From dawn to dusk we're waking up...
Tomorrow's freedom is today's surrender;
We come before You, lay our burdens down.
We look to You as our hearts remember:
You are the only God,
You are our only God.
-From Dawn to Dusk
Come ready to celebrate. Come ready to encounter Jesus. Come ready see time stand still.