One of the things that I really love to do is to get to church really early on a Sunday morning – partly this is because of my job, but also it is partly because I actually enjoy it!
The thing that strikes me the most, is walking into the building and seeing in all of the furnishings an expectation.
There they all are, sitting in the dark, dim morning light, just pre or post dawn, and they are waiting. The chairs are there, waiting for people to sit in them, the stage is there waiting for someone to stand an welcome people, for someone to preach the Good News of Jesus to those listening ears. The instruments are waiting to be taken up and played, to be used as vessels to praise God. The sound system is waiting, in the stillness, to be powered on, and to disturb the quiet with a cacophony of adoration, to send the wave of sound bouncing around the room and then above, to the God who sits over it all –
That is the most profound thing for me to try and understand. God is here, long before I arrive, and I’m the first one in the building. He is sitting over the entire scene, waiting. Expecting. He is ready. He is in the space, He hovers above, He broods over the place where His children will gather, and He can’t wait for us to be there as one body, doing the things that we do when we gather, and bringing praise to Him, just by doing it.
He waits. That’s crazy! Isn’t it? God waits for us, He is there in the stillness, He is there in silence, the darkness, the stillness just before any sort of movement disturbs it.
This is a sacred space, a holy time, and I love to be there. It is a moment of real connection with me, as I look forward to that moment of one on one encounter. I have the expectation that He will show up.
And He does.
It may not be in the way that I expect, or the way that I want, but He is God, and I am not. So however He decides to reveal Himself, however He decides to move, it is always welcome. And I wonder if we often are disappointed with the ways that God choses to move amongst us? Do we feel let down because there is not some powerful word just for us? Do we get upset when the singers don’t sing the songs that we love? When the message seems dull and boring? Or it is interrupted by some spontaneous event in the service? Are we that religious that we have to put God into a box, and get upset when He decides to do something different?
Maybe the problem is with us.