“AM Prep” is an occasional column in Your NFC that leans ahead to the coming worship gatherings—or sometimes remembers previous times of waiting together in God’s presence. These words may do a little of both.
It’s almost always good to remember. In our “preacher’s kid” days, my brother, Howard, and I were regularly asked this Sunday-dinner question, “What did you get out of the sermon today?” Um… But these days I enjoy hearing someone reflect on or remember something from one of our gatherings—maybe a song lyric or a take-away from the teaching or a helpful word spoken or heard in our waiting together.
One of the memorable (to me) song phrases from last Sunday describes Jesus as the “light in my darkness, the truth in each circumstance” (from “Hope of the Nations” by Brian Doerksen). Humming along in my brain, this phrase remains a good prompt to welcome Jesus into the moments/circumstances of each day. Maybe you have a remembering from last Sunday as well? Um…
In the spirit of “it’s not what you get out of it, but what you bring to it,” years-ago NFC youth pastor Keith Vincent wrote about “Sabbath preparation”—about leaning into our gatherings for worship in specific ways. It could be you’ve already been thinking about some of the things he suggests—indulging in a little quiet, making active/intentional worship a regular habit, limiting Saturday evening distractions (TV/the small-screen stuff…how hard can that be?), and praying/listening in advance. And, no small number of us look ahead to the suggested reading assignment…for this Sunday, John 11:1-44 (the story of Lazarus).
We dont have a system for broadcasting the specific worship elements and practices for upcoming Sundays. So here’s a heads up—that we’re going to be singing (…yes) this Sunday. The men’s quartet is leading (with NFC Brass), and one of the tunes we’ll sing is from the early American harp singing tradition, “I Know That My Redeemer Lives.” Here’s the first verse:
I know that my Redeemer lives! Glory, hallelujah!
What comfort this sweet sentence gives. Glory, hallelujah!
Shout on, pray on we’re gaining ground. Glory, hallelujah!
The dead’s alive and the lost is found. Glory, hallelujah!
You can see the tune and learn more at this link.
So to lean a little further ahead, let’s be reminded that God’s intention and promise for our life together and our life with him is…transformation—the longings God has placed within each one will be fulfilled.
Let’s be encouraged with these words from scripture.
“For from the very beginning God decided that those who came to him…should become like his Son, so that his Son would be the First, with many brothers and sisters.” Romans 8:29
“Yes, dear friends, we are already God’s children, right now, and we can’t even imagine what it is going to be like later on. But we do know this, that when he comes we will be like him, as a result of seeing him as he really is.” 1 John 3:2