These conversations and my prayer time have brought up an interesting point. The question is this, "What do I do to prepare as I enter the presence of God on a weekly basis?" This should be a question we ask ourselves weekly - not just in certain seasons of the year. We often set our minds on Christ during Advent and then again in Lent but honestly; what about the other weeks of the year? Shouldn't this be a practice each week?
As I have pondered this thought I realize that we prepare for just about everything we do in life. Momma's prepare and plan for their day/week, when they leave the house, and planning activities for the family. At work we plan and prepare for meetings and deadlines. Community groups prepare for their weekly meetings and events. Even a date night gets a lot of thought and prep! Goodness, I prepare for going to the grocery store! I spend a lot of time thinking about a menu, checking what's in the pantry, making a list and then getting to the store. I realized that there are weeks that I spend more time preparing for all my worldly obligations more than meeting my Savior.
The real question is this, why wouldn't I spend more time preparing my heart and mind for the presence of the Lord? When we are in church we are in the presence of a Holy God, our Creator, our Savior, the lover of our soul. Oh how He deserves our time and preparation for meeting with Him.
Often we just get in our normal mode, get in the car (struggling to get everyone in the car without war occurring), drive to church, find a seat and go through the motions. How often do we really prepare our heart and mind before we head out to church?
What would that look like? For some of us, just a short prayer asking the Lord to prepare our heart for the worship and message. Perhaps some worship music that morning? Or reading the Word throughout the week. If your church operates like ours, we go verse by verse in our teaching...it would be so easy for me to read the upcoming verses the week in order to prepare myself. For Easter how about going to see Risen or the Son of God, watch the Passion. There are numerous daily Bible readings for Lent. Or read through the Gospels of Jesus' journey to the cross.
So, today I challenge you...not to participate in Lent but to be mindful this week as you look toward Sunday. Get you heart and soul ready to be in the presence of your Savior, to sing to Him, to hear the Word with the family, and to be changed by Him. Begin to ask the Lord to help you be prepared for His presence. He will meet us right where we are and draw us close to His heart. This will in turn prepare us for our celebration of His resurrection in just a couple of weeks!