I struggle nearly every Sunday to “want” to go to church. There’s a battle that happens in my soul while I’m showering and shaving early, in the dark, before anyone else is awake. Sometimes it’s pretty intense. But every single Sunday, by the time I step out of my truck and walk into the building, I’m ready. I’m excited. I want to be there. And this is why: I believe that what I’m about to do matters. I believe it matters to people. I believe it matters to God.
I love it when other people preach at Emmaus. But recently I’ve made this unhappy discovery: It’s harder for me to worship God when I’m not preaching. I think it’s because I haven’t prepared for worship in the same way. I haven’t prayed for God’s help. I haven’t fought through the early morning doubts and distractions and demons. I haven’t actively reminded myself that what I’m about to do in worship matters.
But here’s the point: It does. Worship matters. The worship gathering is not a spectator event. It’s a participatory event. It’s not a show about God. It’s an interaction with God. These words matter. What I’m doing with my body matters. The condition of my heart matters. It matters so much that I should prepare for this all week. I should step out of my car on Sunday morning like I’m walking into the most important appointment of my whole week. Because I’m about to worship God.