Sunday, July 20, 2008

Worship Central

Today’s Reading: John 14:1(NIV)

1 [Jesus said,] “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.”

Good morning!

Early Saturday morning, one of the jurisdictional delegates from Texas spoke to me as I stood at the concierge desk of the Hilton Anatole hotel in Dallas, Texas. “Are you going to worship?” she inquired, noticing I had my Bible tucked under one arm. “Yes, I am,” I replied, smiling back at the face of my new friend. She said, “It looks to me as if you are already in worship.” I understood exactly what she meant.

The entire conference began with a celebratory worship service and Holy Communion. Today, we would gather once again in the sanctuary of the First United Methodist Church of Dallas, Texas, to celebrate the consecration of three newly elected Bishops. Every session of conference had been bathed in all kinds of prayer: intercessory prayers for the delegates, many breath prayers uttered by our Bishops; in songs of praise, in silent prayer time, waiting with expectation to hear the voice of God speak. There were group prayers breaking out everywhere. Delegations around the room conducted prayer huddles, circling up together with arms reaching around the shoulders of each other. Some delegations held hands together and prayed, and one delegation in particular dropped to its knees with heads bowed out of reverence for the Lord. Worship was a continuum throughout this conference. It is unique and sets us apart from the other business conventions taking place in the hotel. People were being prayed for constantly, and the presence of the Holy Spirit could be sensed, even in the atrium lobby of the Hilton Anatole. At this very moment, we are standing in worship central, right here and now.

We gathered at the appointed time to elect three new Bishops to fill the vacant slots of two retirees and one dear Episcopal leader who had crossed over from the church into the church triumphant. We heard many good reports, and conducted the business of this jurisdiction, spending our time in fellowship with each other. Many of the delegates had been here before, but I was brand spanking new. As a first-time delegate to this conference, every moment was special to me. I realized that even amid the business and busyness of this event, we had continued to worship outside the walls, even as we stood in line in the hotel lobby, waiting to speak with the concierge on duty.

Jesus saw His disciples struggling to understand what was coming, and longed to offer a word of encouragement and hope. Jesus did not want His followers to be troubled by the things happening around them; He longed for His redeemed ones to simply place full trust in the Father, and also in the Son.

How do you incorporate holy worship moments into your day-to-day life? How can you take a rather ordinary moment and transform it into a worship experience? It all begins and ends with prayer. Today, I am praying especially for you, that you will find time to pray at every possible moment, during the day. Let Jesus become your sweet security as you begin to experience His awesome love in a brand new way.

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO


© Copyright 2008, Deb Spaulding

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