Jones: Getting ready for Sunday
By Lynn Jones
When a man saw his old friend who was a pastor, he asked him, “Well, what are you doing this week?” The pastor responded, “I’m doing what all preachers do. I’m getting ready for Sunday.” That is what preachers do. For the past 59 years, I’ve spent most of my time “getting ready for Sunday.” I learned a long time ago that if I was going to preach a couple of times on Sunday, Sunday would be an exceedingly long day if I did not get ready for it.
While preachers need to get ready for Sunday, I would suggest that they are not the only ones who need to do so. Everyone who comes to worship God on Sunday needs to get ready for the day.
Before any athletic contest, you see the athletes “warming up.” Athletes would not dare enter a game “cold.” They must get ready.
In a similar way, we need to get ready for the worship experience on Sunday. Prayer, Bible reading, and cultivating a sense of expectation, can all be helpful in getting ready for the experience. If we come into worship “cold,” then the worship may be over before we are in a frame of soul to worship God.
Worship is essential. I like Luci Shaw’s metaphor about that. She said that we are like frogs. Frogs are amphibians. They are creatures of two different worlds. They are designed to breathe air but also to swim in water. They cannot exist for long in either element. To survive, they continually must move back and forth between the upper level (the air level) and the lower level (the water level). If they stay too long in the air, they will dehydrate, wither, and die. If they stay submerged too long in the water, their lungs will be deprived of oxygen, and they will drown. They are designed for two worlds, and they neglect either with disastrous results.
That’s who we are. We are amphibians. We have been designed to live in two worlds—this physical world and the world of the Spirit. If we stay too long in either world, we cannot exist. If we stay too long in the material world with no time in the presence of God, our spirit withers and begins to die. If we stay too long submerged in the world of the Spirit, with no contact with the physical world, we become superfluous to the Kingdom, which desperately needs us to be witnesses in our world.
This week as you move through your world, be a witness to the grace and love of God. But do not stay too long in the world of physical things. Submerge yourself in the presence of God and His people in worship. Cultivate the rhythm of regularly moving between those two worlds.
Lynn Jones is a retired pastor who lives in Oxford. He does supply preaching for churches in his area and often serves as an interim pastor. Jones is also an author, has written two books and writes a weekly newspaper column. He may be contacted at: email@example.com.